Holidays bring a lot of joy, opportunities to rest and recoup, the ability to spend more time with loved ones and the much-needed break from the day-to-day. What they also bring is a mass disruption to our routine and the onboarding of not-so-healthy habits that we later feel the need to ‘reset’!
So, how can we enjoy our holidays without the blowout and subsequent guilts when it’s time to get back to reality? Trust me, it is possible. There’s no need to hit pause on your healthy habits and no reason to abandon self-control with all-out ‘screw it’ festivities.
To help you stay healthy over the holidays and continue on your path towards your wellness goals, I have put together some suggestions that will enable you to enjoy your holidays without deprivation and guilt, while staying consistent on your quest to long-term good health.
Let go of perfection
First and foremost – let go of sky-high expectations and allow yourself a little leeway. Disruption to routine undoubtedly throws a few spanners in the works when it comes to your usual health and fitness routines – accept that. Whether you are staying home or heading away, holidays run at a different pace and each day can be so different!
While I talk about keeping up with healthy habits and avoiding blow-out, that is not to say you have to avoid temptation altogether or beat yourself up for skipping your usual workout. It’s ok. That extra row of chocolate or piece of pavlova is not going to undo all your hard work! Missing one workout won’t set you back months of training. Aim for realistic balance, and above all let go of perfection when it comes to your health and fitness ideals over a holiday. Consistency always trumps perfection, which brings us to the next point.
With so many extra things going on during holidays, keeping up with all of your health practices may not possible every day. Rather than adopting an all-or-nothing approach, I suggest you pick two or three things you will CONSISTENTLY do every day to help move you towards your health goals. If all other efforts turn upside down, these little habits will ensure you are cruising in the right direction. For example:
- Fitness – plan some sort of deliberate movement each day. If a full workout is not on the cards, go for a walk or run, find a yoga or fitness video to follow along to on YouTube, make up your own bodyweight workout or put some music on and have a dance-off with the kids.
- Food – continue to plan ahead and have healthy snacks available throughout the day. Spend time in the morning cutting up veggie sticks or fruit, bake some healthy muffins or mix up some protein balls. Other suggestions here are to get into the habit of taking food out with you rather than buying food on the run, and keeping up your mindful eating practices such as eating only when hungry and stopping when you are 80% full.
- Mindset – keep up with journaling, affirmations or your daily planning session to stay focused and positive.
- Self-care – take 10-15 minutes out each day to sit and relax in a quiet spot with a hot cuppa (or drink of choice!) to reflect on your day and bring your body back to a settled state. Or, you may like to meditate, practise some mindful walking or take some time out to stretch your body.
Remember your why
We all have our own personal reasons why we strive for better health, and no answer is right or wrong. When routines go out the window, you are faced with temptation and pulling on your gym gear for a holiday workout seems just too hard – remember why you are committed to looking after your health and wellbeing. For some of us, it’s to manage or reduce the risk of illness, for others it’s to be a positive influence on the kids and be around to see them grow up, or good health could be more about self-confidence and image. Hey, it might even be a combination of factors, or something completely different!
Keep your why at the forefront of your mind whenever a health-related choice comes up. It may help to write down your why and stick it in a prominent place to remind you of your unique reasons for change.
Reach out for support
Trust me when I say we are all in the same over-indulgent boat when it comes to managing health and fitness over the holidays! Having like-minded people around you is a fantastic, motivating way to maintain your healthy habits and avoid the need for soul-destroying New Year’s resolutions.
Find support by reaching out to an accountability buddy or a few positive influences to keep in touch with, such as good friends who enjoy staying active. Together, you can help motivate each other to keep up with your healthy habits, swap ideas and get together for a holiday workout, walk or cook-a-thon.
Another way to find support is to let people around you know your health goals and how you are achieving them. You don’t need to get too personal if you prefer not to, but chances are once friends and family understand why you are making your choices, they are less likely to pressure you into that extra drink, a bigger slice of cake or going out for a greasy burger.
Need a little extra help? That’s why I’m here! My health coaching programs offer one-on-one tailored support, education and accountability to help you achieve your unique health and fitness goals. No two clients are the same – so no two programs are either!
I take a personal approach with every client to ensure you get the most of our time together and build the skills you need to reach your goals and maintain good health for life. For an obligation-free initial consultation, contact me to arrange a time.
I look forward to working with you.