The holiday season can be many things – for some, it’s the most stressful month of the year, while others wait all year for the relaxation and family fun that comes with the month of December. Though holiday festivities will likely look a bit different this year, the temptation of sweet treats and a desire to sink into the couch still loom large.
Balance is important, and we all deserve to relax and enjoy ourselves – especially after the year we’ve had this year – but that doesn’t mean you have to let a few lazy weeks undo the progress you’ve made in your health and fitness this year. We’re here to help you make the most of the holidays with our 7 tips for self-care this holiday season!
01 Stick to Your Routine
It’s easy to end up with a very different schedule around the holidays, especially if you have some time off from work or school and want to take full advantage by staying up late and sleeping in to make up for it. The best thing you can do to set yourself up for holiday season success is to stick to your normal daily routine as closely as you can. It definitely won’t be perfect, but it’s important to avoid shocking the system by changing things up too dramatically!
If you’re used to exercising in the mornings to get your day started, remember that an outdoor walk or a lower-intensity active recovery workout is a great way to get moving and keep yourself on track with your routine – especially if you’re looking to give your body a break. Sleep is the biggest piece of your routine, and if there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be the importance of consistent sleep habits during the holidays. Be consistent with your sleep by going to sleep and waking up as close to the same times as possible every day – keeping this schedule will help regulate your circadian rhythm and create a fundamental routine for your body to follow every day.
02 Everything in Moderation
The holiday season often becomes a time filled with indulgence – it’s hard not to when you’re surrounded by cookies, cakes, pies, and all kinds of sweet treats! It’s important to allow yourself to enjoy some of those holiday dishes, but the key is always moderation. It’s true of everything you do – balance and moderation are critically important in everything from the foods you eat to your workouts and how you spend your time. Too much of a bad thing is not good for you, but too much of a good thing can have negative consequences too.
If you’ve been crushing it with your nutrition this year and want to power through the holidays without giving into your cravings, then you’re stronger than most! If that isn’t you, it’s nothing to be ashamed of – just be sure that everything you eat is done in moderation. A cookie or two isn’t going to cause you any problems, but try not to allow yourself to repeatedly indulge in junk food to the point where the sweets are outweighing the nutrient rich foods. The same applies for alcohol – a drink here or there can be part of a healthy and relaxing holiday, but avoid making alcohol a regular part of your routine.
03 Stay Hydrated
It can be easy to lose track of your hydration amid the craziness of the holiday season, so we’re here to make it easy for you. Start your day, every day, with a glass of electrolyte-rich water. There’s no better way to kick off your day than with the hydration your body needs after a long night of sleep! Maintain consistent hydration throughout the rest of the day with the goal of drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water at minimum. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should aim to drink at least 80 ounces of water every day as a baseline.
Many of us will find ourselves indoors for much of the holiday season, and more time indoors with the heat on means you need to stay on top of your hydration. It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you’re cooped up indoors, but you have to make it a consistent part of your daily habits! Start with a glass of water in the morning and always keep your glass or bottle close by to ensure that you’re getting all the water you need.
04 Make Time for Pliability
There’s no better time to work on pliability at home than the holidays! If your muscles are feeling tight and stiff, that’s a good indicator that you need pliability work. As the year winds to a close, many of us are dealing with sore, tight muscles – and there’s no better way to help your muscles feel and perform their best than deep force pliability work. Grab your Vibrating Pliability Roller or Sphere and let’s go!
Even if you’re not sore or working out, it’s great to do at-home pliability work every single day, both when you wake up and at the end of the day. Doing pliability work first thing in the morning is a great way to activate your muscles and get good blood flow to those areas worked on. It helps wake you up! The end of the day is a good time to get some at-home pliability in because it helps increase your circulation and reduce the overall stress and tension that you might’ve built up throughout the day. It can be a nice part of your evening routine as you start to wind down and get ready for bed.
05 Adapt Your Training
Though making the time and space necessary for exercise during the holidays is a challenge, we are somewhat fortunate that we’ve all had to get used to working out at home more than ever before this year. The biggest key to exercising around the holidays is making sure you don’t fall off the wagon after the work you’ve put in all year. You owe it to yourself to take some time off and allow your body to recover, but you want to avoid falling into bad habits and becoming too sedentary.
If you’re in a situation where you don’t have everything you need to do your usual workouts, You may have to get creative in order to get your holiday workouts in – all you need is a resistance band or two. Even just one band can give you everything you need to train your full body, especially with a focus on your speed and form. Bundle up and go for a run if you’re looking for a good cardio burn! If you’re feeling unmotivated and your body just needs a break, grab a friend or family member and go for a 2-4 mile walk – it’s a great way to get moving and connect with the people in your life who matter most during the holidays.
06 Don't Forget to Sleep!
Use your down time around the holidays to catch up on sleep! Your goal should be at least 8 hours of restful sleep every night. Make this a priority and do your best to establish a healthy nightly routine that’s easy to stick to and follow through on – even during the busyness of the holidays. Turning off all your electronic devices at least a half-hour before bedtime will quiet your mind. Instead of surfing the web, focus on something relaxing and serene. Turn off or down the lights in your room and create a relaxing environment before bed.
Take advantage of your circadian clock by sticking to a schedule. A rhythm of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will help your body get the most out of your sleep. Yes, that includes the holidays! Choose a bedtime and wake time, ideally 8 hours apart, and commit to it. It might be hard at first, but a consistent schedule does wonders for the body and mind. You’ll feel the difference.
07 Make Time for Relaxation
Use the extra time off to manage your stress – try meditation, journaling, or directly carving out time for yourself. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that triggers your appetite — whether you’re hungry or not. Take a step back from the pressures of the season, breathe deeply, and reflect on the meaning you’d like the holidays to have for yourself and your family and friends. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the commercialization and stress of the season, so do what you can to take a step back and be present in the moment.
The holidays represent a great opportunity to reduce your screen time too! Put down your phone or laptop and grab a good book or set up a board game with your friends or family. Do your best to remove yourself from the grip of social media for at least a few hours every day by making time for some old fashioned relaxation.
Remember that a few nights of holiday celebrations won’t ruin a whole year of hard work – and can be a great reward for your constant dedication to your health and wellness. Enjoy some down time with the people you love, but don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health. Happy holidays from all of us at TB12!