And so it begins… the Christmas season has officially begun, and we know what that means. For a lot of us… temptation is everywhere, parties are in full swing, there is less time for the gym, later nights, less sleep and in general, stress.(too much to do and not enough time to get it done… along with the need to please almost everyone) Every year, it sounds good in the planning, but when it comes down to it, after a long day or a long week, it’s hard to fit all of the festivities in, not to mention the aftermath… a few extra pounds and some skin issues. All of the inflammatory foods, extra alcohol and missed workouts, can get you out of routine and into trouble… hence the obligatory New Years resolution… which is another blog post in itself… and Lord, you don’t want to hear my take on that topic!
So, what’s a gal to do? You want to enjoy good tidings, but you still have a schedule to keep! How do you do both. Well, you can, in moderation, with a few simple rules. Not to mention that nobody wants to start the New Year unable to fit into those new jeans, or with stressed, dehydrated, or blemished skin. I am no master at this, but I have learned a few things over the years, just by trial and error. I have a few simple rules, and I try my best to stick with them as much as is humanly possible. I have to keep in mind that my job takes a lot of my time and energy, and I don’t want to feel like crap during the jolliest time of the year, so therein lies a little motivation. So let’s discuss a few simple rules that I try to stick by in order to keep myself intact in an overindulgent season.
1. Stick to your normal routine
First of all, think about your normal routine and the things that are priorities in keeping you healthy and feeling good throughout the rest of the year. Everyone is different… but for me, there are some essentials… I have to have my sleep in order to feel like a human, but also to do my job well every day. I have to eat clean and exercise regularly to stay healthy and energized. Also, my skincare routine cannot take a back seat, no matter now sleepy I am at night. So, it’s a matter of juggling a little more during a busy season, but maintaining those basic priorities, and trust me… I still have plenty of fun!
So, I try to keep those priorities intact when the calendar starts to fill up… by following a few “holiday guidelines” … which are really simple… and at the end of the season, I am glad I did.
2. Plan, prepare and hydrate
I don’t try to make every single party that I am invited to. It’s not humanly possible with my crazy work schedule and responsibilities of my “one woman show”. People understand… or they should! When I do attend a party, especially on a “school night”, I leave when I need to leave. Not everyone has the same hours, so I don’t feel bad about leaving at a decent hour. I usually eat something healthy before I go, so that I don’t graze endlessly on a smorgasbord of Holiday treats. I usually allow myself one cocktail, but I enjoy it and drink it slowly. I try to steer clear of the sweets, and if I do snack, I shoot for the protein or veggies provided. I drink water throughout the evening. I keep water in my car, so I can hydrate on the way home before bed. (The older I get, the less I tolerate alcohol) I always wash my face before bed and keep my normal routine. As for my workouts… I try not to miss… but inevitably, some later evenings drain me, and there are some mornings that I don’t have the energy to work out and go to work… so I allow myself a pass … but not more than one a week. I try to allow a little more rest time on the weekends, and I have learned to listen to my body.
3. Be mindful of not letting yourself get overwhelmed
The Holidays are a fun-filled, yet stressful time of the year for many. We have a tendency to overextend ourselves and feel the need to make everyone happy… which quite frankly, is impossible, and only leaves you feeling like the Grinch by the time the big day roles around. Most people end the Holiday season exhausted and wishing they could undo a little of the overindulgence. So, make the Holiday season a fun time, and be reasonable about it. Be mindful of not letting yourself get overwhelmed… before the season ever begins. Know your boundaries. If you are one that requires very little sleep, can party with the best, and still be fully functioning the next day, then by all means… jingle on! However, for most working adults, those days are few. Do what is feasible for you, your schedule and your family, and try as much as possible to stick to your normal routine, eating habits and exercise schedule. You will be surprised if you set out with that mindset how easy it really is… and how glad you will be that you did. Trust me, you can have just as much fun, be just as jolly, a lot less hungover… and hopefully keep the scales and your skin intact! Now, how about starting a New Year on that note! I’ll take it for sure. Here’s to a fun filled Holiday season… that leaves you merry and bright!