The holiday season is upon us.
Every time I turn on the computer I see articles and posts and Tweets about ‘surviving’ it.
Surviving the stress. Surviving the food. Surviving the ‘busy’. Surviving with our waistlines and pocketbooks and sanity intact.
While most of these writers mean well (and are full of tips to help you stay on track with your regular fitness and nutrition plan), I can’t help but feeling sad each time I see the word SURVIVE.
To me, ‘surviving’ means barely keeping my head above water. Doing the have-to’s not the want-to’s. Looking to the future in the hopes that it’ll soon be over. A mindset of endurance rather than abundance.
I don’t want to just survive the holidays. I want to embrace them and enjoy the time spent with family and friends. I want to slow down and be more present.
I want to sample the food and drink that only makes an appearance this time of the year. I want to celebrate and sing and dance without worry and guilt and shame.
And without the need to make New Years Resolutions around fitness and food.
I don’t want to survive the holidays. I want to THRIVE through the holidays.
For me, thriving means:
- sticking to my regular exercise schedule; exercise helps control appetite and stress and often results in better food choices for the remainder of the day. When I exercise, my body releases a flood of endorphins that make me feel happy and at peace with the world.
- allowing myself to sample seasonal food and drink without guilt and recrimination; reminding myself that wine and sweet treats are available year-round reduces the need to over-indulge during the holiday season. Remember that it’s not the choices you make between Thanksgiving and New Years that make you gain weight, but the habits your adopt between New Years and Thanksgiving… The key word here is ‘sample’!
- making sleep a priority; with late night parties and social events increasing in frequency it’s easy to let sleep slide. Yet maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is instrumental in keeping mid-life pounds at bay via its effect on your body’s production of stress hormone. Leaving the party early allows me to always enjoy the morning after.
- not accepting every invitation I receive; there’s nothing worse than attending a social gathering out of a sense of obligation. Going because you feel like you have to not because you want to. For me, limiting my “yes’s” during the holidays ensures that when I do go out my friends and family get to spend time with ‘happy and engaged’ me. And when I’m happy and engaged, I tend to spend a lot less time near the food and drinks table 😉
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for ‘thriving’ during the holiday season!