Ho ho ho, Bootcampers…how are the holidays treating you? Have you been making it to all your workouts? Have you been eating well? Getting enough sleep? Seems to me like December is just flying by this year! Here we are just “10 sleeps” away from Christmas and my list of things to do just seems to be growing! I find that during times like these it is super important to listen to my body and take extra good care of myself – my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self. Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the holiday season:
- Workout. Schedule your workouts in your calendar like appointments and then stick to them. Sometimes I even OVER-schedule my workouts by putting two in a day, 7 days a week. This way, when things come up and I have to cancel a workout or two, I’ve still hit at least 4-5 days minimum. Keeping active will help keep your immune system strong and your stress levels down, plus it will help balance the increased intake of treats and libations that often come with the holidays.
- Supplement. During high stress/busy times, I take a whole-food multivitamin/antioxidant (you can get a whole-food multi from any health food store) and a good probiotic daily. I also have begun taking a raw whole-food B complex vitamin since I’m a vegetarian/vegan. I also keep some Echinacea capsules on-hand to start taking if I feel a tickle in my throat or people around me are sick.
- Sleep. When my calendar gets crazy, I scour it for times that I can fit in extra sleep and I’m careful to factor in my need for shut eye. Everyone is different, but everyone knows when they are not getting enough sleep. Learn to listen to your body – when it asks you to get more rest, DO IT. Go to bed an hour earlier. Sneak in a nap. Whatever it takes. I’m even for skipping a workout to sleep in if your body is asking for that (yes, you have my permission, just don’t make it a habit!). Remember that your body will whisper to you first and then it will SHOUT!!! Whispers are things like fuzzy thinking, tired shoulders, tension headaches, crabbiness. SHOUTS are twisted ankles, strep throat, the flu, pulled back muscles, migranes…you get the idea.
- Quiet. Make an effort to find just 5 to 15 minutes a day when you can sit alone, doing nothing, in a peaceful surrounding. It could be your bedroom, your car, your office. Just close your eyes, relax, and breathe. It is more critical than ever to find time to SLOW DOWN when things around you are moving extra fast. Take a moment each day to be present in the moment instead of allowing yourself to be unconsciously swept up in the whirlwind of holiday sales, crazy traffic, and the overall LOUDNESS of the season. I think of it like using a remote to pause the world around you…with everything frozen, you can take your time to look around and enjoy your life from a new perspective. You step out of the scene and realize that YOU ARE IN CONTROL of your experience.
- Love. To not only survive, but THRIVE through the holidays, my best tip for you is to OPEN YOUR HEART and “Embrace Love” as my sister, Alice says. Yes, the holidays are a crazy time when stress is high and calendars are overflowing with commitments, but the holidays are also the perfect opportunity to connect with people (family, friends, strangers) in the most magical and fulfilling ways. People’s hearts are more open than ever during this time of year…so use the holidays as a time to LET GO and LET LOVE…let go of the petty stuff that doesn’t matter, let go of stuff (physical and emotional) that you don’t want to take with you into the new year, let go of the need for perfection, let go of family baggage, let go of bitterness and resentment, let go of past hurts and ego, let go of worrying what others will think, let go of stress and anxiety, let go of it all and LET LOVE guide you this holiday season. Instead of stressing about all the STUFF you have to do, keep it simple and let your heart guide you. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Question of the Day: How do YOU thrive during the holidays? Share your tips for us in the comments!