It’s a cultural tradition we should work on rewriting. We overindulge beginning with a little too much sugar and chocolate at Halloween (10 fun sized candy bars anyone?) and keep it up through a steady stream of parties, celebrations, and festivities through the new year, when we finally decide to change our ways.
Just imagine the good we could do for our bodies, our minds, and our overall well being if we start those healthy choices in October rather than January!
Don’t wait for a New Year’s resolution – make a commitment to yourself now to take good care of yourself throughout the end of the year. Though there’s a lot of festive fun to be had during this final quarter of the year it can also be a hectic and stressful time, and especially tough for those facing depression or other hardships. Self care that leaves you feeling healthier, stronger, and mentally clearer will result in your being much better equipped to manage this season.
Here are a few suggestions for working healthful decisions into a busy few months:
Make plans with a friend to meet for a weekly yoga class. Block out time on your work calendar for regular morning runs. Schedule time at the gym and don’t let other commitments interfere with your workouts. Carve out a few days where you can commute by bike on or foot. Don’t wait for free time to appear during which you can exercise…there will always be something else that can take its place. Whatever activity you prefer, make staying active a priority, and refuse to let the other demands of life get in the way.
This can be tough. The holiday season tends to be one long buffet of tempting treats. Celebratory feasts, baked goods on every table, even a trip to the coffee shop confronts you with the suggestion that you fill your cup with huge portions of holiday themed sugar! While we certainly don’t suggest you abstain from all your favorite foods at this time of year, remember that it’s all too easy to go overboard. Think through your day or even your week and work towards balanced choices. If you know dinner at your sister’s house tomorrow night will mean a slice of her famous pie, plan a big salad topped with autumn veggies and lean protein for dinner tonight. Opt for smaller portions of rich foods and larger ones of whole grains and produce, or whatever fits best into your optimal diet. When you host holiday meals and gatherings show that it’s possible to serve food that is at once delicious and healthy. For example, a butternut squash filled with wild rice, vegetables, nuts, and dried fruits is feast food at its best!
Take Time for Yourself
Just as you work in time for exercise and active pursuits to keep your body healthy, also make time to slow down and give yourself time to recharge. This could mean carving out part of your morning or evening for meditation, a therapeutic massage, or simply a cup of tea enjoying the peace and quiet of your back porch. Step back from the to do lists and the obligations and simply be.
We wish you and yours a holiday season filled with peace and love.
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