Stress-Free Holiday Tips
Monday, October 29, 2018
LifeTime WeightLoss in holidays, managing stress, meal planning, time management

As excitement for the holiday season continues to grow, it’s important to establish a game plan so you can make this year’s festivities as stress-free as possible. With all of the decorations, gift-giving, dinner parties, traveling and family gatherings, it can be easy to get caught up in the chaos and exhaustion. It’s a hectic time of year, and it’s often tempting to throw in the towel on healthy habits until the New Year. 

When it comes to the holidays, research suggests that nearly 40% of people experience higher stress levels with participants citing lack of time, lack of money, the push of commercialism and an increase in responsibility as their top stressors. To help combat these stats and to prepare you for the next eight weeks of holiday havoc, we’ve identified a few routine ways you can help make this year more manageable and a little less stressful. 

Plan Ahead: 

As obvious as this one seems, it’s important to give yourself enough lead time to prepare for all of the extra events, cooking, shopping and hosting duties that seem to be never-ending. When it comes to kitchen organization, preparing meals and resisting temptations at parties, having a game plan ahead of time will help you stay on track: 

Power Through Your Workouts: 

Take a breather and remember: your to-do list can wait when it means putting your health first. Overtime, skipping workouts can really add up and negatively impact the exercise regimen you’ve worked so hard to establish. While it’s tempting to tell yourself you’ll get back on track after the holidays, consider this:

Pick Your Plate Wisely: 

Just because you’ve always made your holiday dishes the same way doesn’t mean you need to keep doing that. Take heart, you can find ways of making similar dishes that still taste great and don’t have all the junk in them.

If you’re going to a party or an event and know you’re going to run into some foods that are hard to resist, don’t go hungry and make sure you have a craving strategy in place. For most, using a protein powder prior to that event can help keep cravings at bay and keep your blood sugars stable so your energy doesn’t drop (causing a craving).

Pour Yourself More Water: 

Constantly sipping on water will keep you hydrated and reduce the amount of food you’ll want to eat. It’s common to mistake hunger for thirst, so prioritizing hydration can go a long way with holiday temptations.

While festive drinks can be hard to avoid during this time of year, keep a water bottle nearby so you’re less tempted to reach for a glass of punch, alcohol or some other higher-calorie sugary drink. Plus, dressing up your water by using sparkling water with lemon or lime is an easy way to minimize the number of holiday cocktails- while (for the most part) keeping commentary from others at bay. Hydration is usually easier in the summer months and can easily be overlooked due to cooler temperatures, so before you reach for a peppermint mocha to warm you up, consider drinking a glass or two of water first. 

Put Down the Electronics: 

While it can be difficult to reduce screen time at work, consider limiting the amount of time you spend online when you’re at home or off the clock. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your phone while in the company of others, late at night, or every other minute, it may be time to impose some new boundaries. Screen time not only adds up quickly, but it can negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Instead of checking email or social media yet again, put the phone down and consider going for a walk to your local park, playing a board game or meeting up with some friends to volunteer for a good cause. 

Pamper Yourself: 

It can be easy to prioritize the needs of others before our own, but in order to wholeheartedly pour into others, we must first make sure we’re filled up. Whether you have a few hours or even a few minutes, do what you need in order to get yourself back in the game. Whether taking a restorative yoga class, taking a walk around the block, scheduling a massage at the Life Spa or taking a quick cat nap, be sure you pocket time for self-care. 

 

What's your plan of action to de-stress and stay on track this holiday season?

If you’ve found these tips helpful, but aren’t sure where to start, our next Holiday 60day is kicking off on November 10 and is a great starting point for those who want to take a deeper dive into developing a game plan that is actionable. You can register here

Even with the busy holiday season right around the corner, the 60day is a structured program packed with healthy recipes, daily workouts, digital coaching and in-studio lectures by our experts that will help get you back on track through the rest of the year and have you feeling healthier, stronger and more alive. If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out last year’s 60day success stories

 

- Life Time Weight Loss Staff

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 

Article originally appeared on LifeTime WeightLoss (http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/).
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