We have hit that time of year when the kids are on school holidays and the adults are winding down from a year of work. Whether you are working through the holiday season or not, it’s easy to whiz through this time without much thought of exercise or healthy eating. It’s your break, after all?
In my last blog post, we looked at a few ways to keep ourselves feeling healthy and well in the silly season through good nutrition and healthy eating (read here). To follow on and to help you kick-start your 2016 feeling refreshed, energised and ready for a new year, here’s five tips for a healthy mind and healthy body over the holiday season.
Healthy body tip: Get those exercise clothes out
Place some exercise items in a visible spot in your bedroom or in a clear bag near the front door. You might like to put out your exercise clothes, runners, socks, bathers and towel as examples. I find physically seeing these items first thing in the morning or after a day out a useful prompt to get me at the very least considering some exercise. You might like to schedule in some times for exercise or start building a routine over the Christmas period, such as a morning or evening walk.
Being prepared is half the battle. Are you an early bird? You might like to consider taking up a daily morning walk; a great opportunity for some alone time, clear your mind before the day and get your body moving before digging into a Christmas lunch later in the day!
There’s always the opportunity to take a walk around the block after Christmas lunch or dinner. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sweaty activity; it could be an easy stroll with a friend or family members after a big lunch or dinner (I’m fond of calling it a “digestion walk”!).
2. Healthy body tip: Keep lots of water on hand
Festive lunches and dinners do have a tendency to go on for hours at this time of year. Get the water jugs out and grab some limes, lemons and cucumbers to give water a refreshing twist. Have a few bottles of mineral water on hand to keep things interesting and help keep your friends and family hydrated.
3. Healthy mind tip: take a breather (or three!)
Spending time with family and friends can be refreshing and energising. But sometimes this isn’t always the case. Be easy on yourself and don’t feel like every minute of the day must be spent socialising. If you need a little breather to yourself to break up the day and take a mental break, go for it! Get some fresh air, take 5 or 10 minutes to re-group and return to the festivities relaxed and enjoying yourself.
4. Healthy mind tip: write Christmas present coupons in lieu of presents
Still haven’t gotten all your Christmas shopping done? One option is to put a present “coupon” into a Christmas card in place of the actual gift. That way, you could save yourself the parking headache, crowds and queues at the local shopping centre. You could also be creative and design an experience instead of a physical gift. What about a delicious afternoon picnic at your city’s botanical gardens, or an afternoon in the city exploring new cafes or art exhibitions? Make it a concrete plan by booking in a date and time and including these details on the coupon or card. An experience can certainly be just as good, if not better and more personal than a material gift!
5. Healthy mind tip: Hold your tongue
I say this with love, and it’s something I need to get better at! Sometimes, when spending lots of time socialising out at lunches and dinners with family and friends, the heat can start to get to you and tiredness sets in. Sometimes it’s easy to get into an unnecessary or silly argument; these are the times it’s good to stop and consider if it’s worth the battle or to just let things go. Maybe your uncle said something a bit rude or offensive, or a friend said something a little cutting to you. Is it the best time to say something? Do you need to say anything at all? Be kind to yourself, take a breath and save yourself any avoidable stress or frustration by choosing when to let things go or follow up on them at a better time.
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