By Jenna Stern, Positivity Charge Ambassador
I’m going to be straight up with you, this time of year can be tricky. With it getting darker earlier workouts can be a little tougher, days at work feel longer, and social commitments pile up! Then you add the holidays on top of that and it can be super overwhelming. That’s where I come in, not to tell you what you shouldn’t or can’t do, but to tell you what you can do to feel your best not only during this time but all year round.
DO: MOVE THAT BOD
Use exercise as an outlet for your stress! The endorphins your body produce during exercise are a real thing people and they make you feel amazing! Yes, getting to the gym can sometimes be the biggest pain in the world, but give yourself 10 minutes to find your groove. If after those 10 minutes you’re not feeling it then you can bounce, but I guarantee that once your blood starts pumping and your favorite Rihanna remix comes on your Spotify you won’t want to stop, you’ll want to get after it! Also, if you go home for the holiday’s get your family involved in a workout! Go for a walk or run outside with your mom, try a new class in town with your brother or sister, or check out Youtube and pull up a 20-minute workout video on your laptop and workout in the comfort of your own home. It’s all about finding ways to move that make you feel GOOD.
DON’T: USE EXERCISE FOR PUNISHMENT
So you overdid it with the dessert or had a few more drinks than you intended to at the Christmas party. Does that mean you should go kick your butt on the treadmill for two hours?! HELL TO THE NO! Was that extra dessert enjoyed? Did you share some funny stories with your co-workers? Both food and alcohol are meant to be ENJOYED my friends-don’t kill yourself to make up for what you did the day before. Take a deep breath, drink some warm lemon water to ease your digestive system and move ON.
DO: MEAL PREP
But not enough to feed a family of four or get you stuck in the kitchen for four hours. My rule of thumb is to always have a protein, carbohydrate or grain and vegetable prepared to build from during the week. It keeps things simple and easy and you know that you have something nourishing in your fridge. Meal prepping is also crucial when it comes to keeping your portions in check. Leading up to a holiday it is smart to keep your food choices on the lighter side, so when you are at Christmas dinner or a New Year’s Eve party you have a little wiggle room. Something I always tell my clients is that one bad meal won’t make you fat and one healthy meal won’t make you skinny. It is and will always be about balance.
DON’T: SKIP MEALS
You will binge and it will suck, that is all. Make sure that every meal has a protein, carb, veg and a little fat! Throw some hemp seeds and PB on your oatmeal, have a slice of sprouted grain toast with avocado and an egg or a big salad with grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, walnuts and apples! Aim to choose real foods over anything pre-packaged. Try to get 3 solid meals a day with a snack thrown in here and there to keep that metabolism going and WATER, this is even more important if you plan on exercising at some point during the day. Hydration is KEY to keep things moving and grooving. Sparkling water with a lemon or lime wedge is also a great option to sip on in between those cocktails (hangovers be gone!) Finally, in any social situation scope out the fresh food options or the veggies. The perfect plate should be filled with half veggies and the other half split between a protein and carb of some kind.
It’s the holidays, literally the best time of the year! If you’re lucky enough to have a little time off work or a day to spend at home with family, REST, RESET and REFOCUS. Take some time for yourself, even if it’s an hour. Do some simple self-care practices, a warm bath and face mask can do wonders! I’ve also found that journaling is extremely helpful when it comes to goals and intentions, as well as for writing to do list’s! It’s not about accomplishing everything at once, but it does help guide you and it’s great to see what you want laid out on paper.
Please, I beg you! Enjoy some time away, the fun holiday parties and time with your friends and families! There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about enjoying yourself, as long as you apply some of the principles I explained above you will be more than ok this holiday season.
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