“Everything changed the day she realized she had enough time for all the important things” -Richard Branson
Yep. It’s here again. It’s HOLIDAY TIME and the stress meter just went up a couple notches. Parking lots are jammed packed, lines at every store seem to get longer and longer as the days progress and there you stand in the middle of a bombardment of holiday perfection expectation. Yes, I know it is still early in the season, but with Christmas music already blasting nonstop from a certain radio station I thought it might be good to start now before things get too overwhelming.
If you feel like pulling your hair out more often than usual around this time of year, don’t worry you’re in good company. While other fitness peeps will shell out all their amazing advice on how to keep weight off during the holiday season (insert sarcasm here), I would like to share my 4 tried and true ways that help me stay grounded year round in hopes that you can avoid a holiday overload.
Check in at least 1 time each day.
What is a “check-in”? It’s a magical time when you find a quit spot, ask yourself how you are feeling and answer with COMPLETE HONESTY. Need an example of a quiet spot? Well, as lovely as sitting in an open meadow or nestling next to a babbling brook might be, there is no shame in finding this quiet spot in a bathroom stall or the drivers seat of your car (with the radio turned off of course). Let’s face it, for most of us the serene image of a meditating yogi is about at far from reality as holding the winning powerball ticket so take what you can get. (Bathroom is my favorite!). The “answering honestly” is emphasized because, yes, you can lie to yourself in order to not deal with those inconvenient and typically uncomfortable feelings. Acknowledging that you feel guilty for that thing that you really shouldn’t feel guilty about but do anyways is awesome. Acknowledge it as you take a deep breathe in and then blow it away as you exhale. If you feel silly, just try it. Taking a deep breathe physically calms the nervous system. It is impossible to talk away stress.
Put away the phone during meal time.
OK… so this is a hard one for me when I’m alone for meal time and honestly it just feels plain weird. Sitting by yourself, staring off into space? Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable (or a lot, depending on who you are) but this helps to take your multitasking and overly stimulated mind down to one and only one thing. EATING! Eating without distractions is one of the key components of mindful eating. Not only does it help ease anxiety, it helps your digestion and makes you focus on your hunger and fullness, which is mega important to avoid over eating or under eating.
Complete any project on your to-do list in less than 5 seconds (tip direct from Arianna Huffington)
I LOVE to-do lists and I honestly can’t think of a life without them. But if you are a fellow to-do list lover then chances are you have at one time or another added items to your list that weren’t really priorities or were fillers (a long to-do list can make you feel important and productive- yes I know). So how do you instantly complete items on your list and ease stress and anxiety? Drop them. That’s right! The fastest way to shorten your to do list is to cross off all those unnecessary projects or items that don’t serve you. Do you really need to get over to Macy’s to pick up the napkin rings that go perfectly with the stem wear for your holiday party? Will you allow that task to disturb your serenity? Sometimes we get so wrapped up in projects that we think are so important and forget how and why they became a priority in the first place.
Instead of saying “yes”, say “let me think about that and I will get back to you”.
Ahhhh…. Over commitment. The holiday sin of mortals round the world. If you have escaped the claws of this yearly mistake then you are not human my friend. Yes, this is the time of year we reconnect with friends and family, host or attend company holiday parties, go shopping with friends, ect, ect… And while I’m not advocating to hide out in a cave somewhere, I am also not saying to make the holidays all about spending time with others. You heard me right. Everything in moderation, which is why saying “let me think about that and I will get back to you” is so awesome. It is not saying no, but rather it is giving you time to really ask yourself if you comfortably have time for the commitment. Even if you know for sure the day in question is wide open, you might really need a day to spend at home recouping from your hectic week. The only thing over committing is good for is for making you resentful of your friends and family and that is certainly what this time of year is not about.
So there you have it. I hope this was more helpful than the 4 tips on how to avoid carbs at Thanksgiving. Cheers to the start of the holidays and don’t forget to stop and smell the pine needles.