With American Thanksgiving right around the corner (us Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving last month), it’s safe to say the holiday season is upon us. Not only is this typically one of the most stressful times of the year, it can also be one of the hardest times to focus on your wellness while also enjoying the holidays. While I’m all about enjoying the holidays and those seasonal treats you simply don’t get the rest of the year, I also think with a little bit of consideration you can enjoy a healthy holiday while still popping a few holiday treats in your mouth now and then. 😉
Because I truly believe it’s more about the little things you do each day or week versus big extreme changes that make the biggest impact over time, that’s just what I’m sharing today. 8 small tips to help you navigate the holidays – no guilt required!
Start your day with a glass of water.
After 7-8 hours of rest, your body is feeling quite dehydrated, so the simple act of drinking a glass of water upon waking can help replenish lost hydration and help wake you up. If you are feeling fancy, add a splash of fresh lemon juice or grated ginger to help aid with digestion and increase nutrient absorption.
Take 2-minutes for deep breathing
Setting aside as little as two-minute each day for some dedicated deep breathing can have a huge impact on your health. Deep breathing exercises help reduce holiday stress levels, aid in relaxation and helps boost your immune system (which is super important during cold and flu season).
Many fitness trackers these days even have relaxation modes built right in. I know that FitBit does as does the LEAF app for the BellaBeat tracker.
Fill up on fibre
Don’t make the mistake of heading to a holiday event on an empty stomach. Filling up with some fibre rich foods earlier in the day will help keep you feeling fuller longer, and will help curb your appetite so you don’t dive head first into a gingerbread village because you are so starving!
Oatmeal, berries, beans, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp hearts are all great sources of fibre
Get a happy gut
With all the sugar filled treats, rich foods and holiday cocktails, unless we are mindful our gut health can really suffer. Bad bacteria feed on sugar and alcohol, which is found at every gathering all holiday season long. While eating foods rich in probiotics is ideal, it can be hard to get enough. That’s why I really encourage most people to consider a probiotic supplement.
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care probiotic is a fantastic option for this time of the year. This once-a-day probiotic features 50 billion active cultures from 10 strains of bacteria.
Even when we are mindful of each food with probiotics it can be challenging to get enough. For instance, one serving of yogurt may have one billion bacteria, while a supplement could have 50 times that much.
Recent studies have shown that probiotics can also help improve mood – and that’s something we can all use during this busy and stressful time of year!
Another nice thing about the Renew Life Probiotics is that they also have a special delivery system like enteric-coating or DRcaps(tm) that protect them from harsh stomach acids and delivers them directly to the instestines where they are most needed.
Renew Life Probiotics are also GMO free, with no artifical colours, preservative or fillers.
Get up and move
While your regular fitness routine might get interrupted with all the holiday parties, gatherings and concerts, you’ll be doing your body and mind a favour if you find time to squeeze in some exercise each day. That could be as simple as a walk around the block to enjoy the Christmas lights, or a quick workout at home or in the gym. It’s clear your mind, and help to combat some of those extra cookies!
Plan your meals
Roll your eyes all you like, but taking 5-10 minutes on one evening to plan what you’ll eat for meals for the coming week will make meals a breeze. Something as simple as a post-it on the fridge listing the suppers for the coming week makes my life so much easier. Everyone knows what is going on, and it’s easier to get help if the other members of your family can see what you are planning. And with the holiday season also being so expensive, now is a great time to use up some of those items in your freezer that you always forget about!
For for the special treats
This is my genius hack for holiday events. Go for the gold. Don’t feel badly about eating those special treats you only see during the holiday season, but maybe don’t wait your time on the bowl of chips and dip or candy that is available all year round. If you are going to indulge – make it worth your while! Choose your favorites and go for those. Leave that everyday filler behind!
The holidays are supposed to be about fun with friends and family. If you are feeling overwhelmed, that a hard look at your to-do list and decide what is most important and maybe let some of the extra items slide for the sake of your own enjoyment.
And when all else fails – take a break. You’ll get more done after a break than if you continue trying to get things done while frazzled. Go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea, take a bath, read a book or watch your favourite Christmas movie. Your to-do list will still be there when you get back!
Above all, make sure that you don’t let the busyness of the season ruin the season. I think you can agree that none of my tips are expensive time-consuming tips that will take hours and hours to do. They are easily incorporated in your day, and those little tasks will help you find your way to January 1st feeling a whole lot better, without you having given up all your favourite things!
Life is made to be enjoyed, and we need to switch our brains from thinking that we should be punished for our poor food choices, and instead think of ways we can enjoy thosefoods we want to enjoy and still feel good about ourselves in the process. These eight tips might not feel life changing, but I promise you, if you start incorporating them into your days now – you’ll make it to January first feeling a whole lot happier about yourself, and the holiday season!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Renew Life Canada, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.