It’s that time of year again when everything gets a little more *heightened,* doesn’t it? Regardless of what you celebrate, or how you celebrate it, there’s a certain charge in the air during the holiday season.
This time of year can be particularly tough for those of you who have lost loved ones, and you’re feeling their absence during a festive time. It can also be challenging if you’re unable to see your loved ones for whatever reason that may be.
There’s also a lot of pressure to buy a lot, eat a lot, drink a lot, party hard, and just kind of do all the things. It’s non-stop, really.
But here’s the thing, most traditional jobs have allotted time off during this season, so why not use that time to refresh and recharge yourself- rather than run yourself dry, and return to work more burnt out than ever?
Today’s post is going to share a round-up of my top 10 tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays, so that you can feel as good as possible during this season in your body, mind, and heart.
How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays
Look, I’m not saying I’m anywhere near perfect when it comes to these 10 tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays. Because I’m not.
However, I can say that these tips are pretty tried and true for all busy seasons of life. Trust me, as someone who’s been teaching international yoga retreats for 10 years, I’ve kind of become an expert on how to manage my energy levels in the face of a lot of travel, change, and hosting.
Learn more about budgeting your energy HERE.
Lower Your Stress
First things first, you’re going to want to lower your stress levels. Stress is truly one of the most unhealthy things we can do to ourselves. And, I get it, it’s way easier said than done.
Luckily for you, the continued tips below will include practice, strategies and techniques that all help to lower stress by soothing the nervous system.
If our top priority is lowering stress, then this also means letting go of stress that you have around food. Making your way to food freedom can be a long, windy journey- but you have to start somewhere right? Intuitive eating is the perfect place to begin.
I’ve written a whole post on intuitive eating HERE that can help you get started in the direction of fueling your body in a really loving way. But mostly, if there’s one thing I want you to think about- it’s letting go of guilt, shame, or stress around celebratory and indulgent meals during the holidays.
Learn more about intuitive eating from the experts themselves in this book HERE by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
Reduce People Pleasing
Another great way to reduce stress is to try to be really mindful about your people pleasing tendencies. Usually this looks like saying yes to five million parties, events, and dinners during the holidays, because you don’t want anyone to be upset with you….even though you’re burnt out.
Get comfortable saying no. Or at least get comfortable throwing out other solutions or ideas that might be more of a compromise to the social engagements that start to stack up. The best way to do this is to get clear on your energy budget and your priorities.
Let Go Of Guilt
Hello, I’m the queen of guilt. So I can imagine if some stranger on the internet was telling me to “let go of guilt,” I’d roll my eyes and assume they just didn’t understand.
This is one of those things that’s a lot easier said than done…again. I know there’s a lot of those in this list. But here we are.
The best way to move through guilt is to simply recognize when it’s coming up, and then try to understand why. This requires mindfulness, and taking time with your thoughts to reflect and understand yourself a little better.
Learn more about this in the post on How To Reconnect To Yourself.
Move Your Body
As an avid yoga teacher and practitioner, you know I’m going to encourage you to move your body. Of course my top recommendation is yoga, but really any kind of mindful movement that fills you up will do.
Moving your body helps you to get out of your head, and into how you feel by being really present with the physical. This is helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, and also just getting all of that pent of energy moving and flowing- rather than stuck and stagnant.
Practice yoga with me online with hundreds of all level classes on my app.
Trust me when I say I know that meditation isn’t for everyone. Well, let me rephrase by saying that it is for everyone, but many people don’t like it.
Don’t worry, if you’re someone who finds it boring then maybe moving meditation is more up your alley. Learn more about moving meditation options HERE.
Take Alone Time
Yes extroverts, I’m even talking to you! While my fellow introverts are more likely going to be the ones who are craving alone time in the bustling movement that is the holiday season, the truth is that finding balance of alone time and socialization is really good for everyone.
Depending on your personality and needs, we’re all going to require different amounts of alone time. Plus, your circumstances might only allow you small pockets, rather than long stretches. My advice for you is simply to try to take alone time, in whatever capacity you’re able to.
You know I’m a big outside girlie. Yes, even if it’s freezing cold (like it is in most parts of the States during the holidays). Trust me, that rush of fresh air is the reset you didn’t know you needed.
Of course going outside is weather dependent, but if you can make sure that you’re going outside every single day during this busy time of year- I swear your body and mind will be happier.
Is it weird for me to tell you to pretend like you’re a smoker who needs a smoke break, but just don’t actually smoke? I don’t care, I’m saying it. Literally, go outside for 5 minutes and either do a lap around your block, or just stand there and breathe fresh air.
Get Quality Sleep
High stress usually means lower quality of sleep. While better sleep can reduce stress. However, how can you get good sleep if you’re stressed? Ugh, a vicious circle.
The best thing you can do is try to be aware of your sleep hygiene, and take intentional time to wind down at night. Check out my top tips for better sleep HERE.
Take Time To Rebound
This is one of the most important tips for reducing stress and staying healthy during the holidays seasons. Because it will help to keep you balanced and full, rather than burnt out and drained.
After big parties, events, gatherings, or whatever you have going on- make sure to schedule time (literally block off time in your calendar) to rebound. The length of time you need to rebound will be different depending on your personality, energy levels, and circumstances- so just play with it.
And what you do with your rebound time might look different for everyone. For some people it might be reading a good book all day. For others it might binging a TV show, or going for a hike. Whether you’re stagnant or active, just choose something that is 100% for you, so that you can fill up again.
Remember, you’ve already worked on reducing people pleasing, so rather than booking back-to-back events- you choose to take a day off in between parties to reset.
I promise you, this will help you feel better than anything, because your sleep will improve, you’ll create time and space to move and meditate, and essentially just fill you damn cup.
Let me know which tip helped keep you balanced during the holiday season in the comments below!