Eat, Enjoy, and be Mindful

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Now that we are into the holiday season, it can be easy to be swept up in the festivities. All the family gatherings, the office parties, and the exchanging of gifts can be fun but sometimes people can get a bit carried away. Whether it be losing track of finances or indulging too much in holiday foods it can be simple to fall out of beneficial habits.

While it is great to treat yourself and enjoy time with loved ones if you feel like you need help maintaining your goals during the holiday season here are some helpful tips.

Enjoy in Moderation

With the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be difficult to know when to say no. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the holiday fun; it just means setting some boundaries. Be mindful about what you are eating, try slowing down and really enjoying the food. It takes time for your brain to tell you that you are full so try waiting a bit in between helpings. Even 10 minutes can make a difference and can allow your body to properly communicate how full it is.

Remember to prioritize sleep even during the holiday season. Sleep is so important and can affect decision-making and reduce stress. According to the National Sleep Foundation getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night can keep you healthy. So instead of burning out your candle with the stress from the holidays make sure you set boundaries to give you the proper amount of rest.

Create a Holiday Budget

Often people can get lost in the gift-giving and end up spending way too much. While the notion might come from a good place that feeling of financial panic when the dust settles is something we want to avoid. Instead, try making a holiday budget.

Set aside your budgets for what you would like to spend, such as gifts, vacations parties, and home decorations. If you later find that your budget doesn’t cover your whole list, try to prioritize what is most important to you. For example, maybe you can get creative with your gifts by crafting them instead.

A Little Goes a Long Way

It’s easy to let go of routines and going to the gym is normally the first to go. It’s convenient to say “I’ll go tomorrow” or “I’ll start back in January” but it is proven that it is a lot harder to start over. Instead, try adjusting your gym time, maybe just do a quick 10–15-minute cardio or even go for a walk outside. You can always invite visiting friends or family and do a yoga session or Pilates. Take advantage of the holiday deals most gyms offer, most allow you to invite a plus one if you need some extra support to go.

According to Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, “A regular workout schedule of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity will not only help relieve stress, it will lead to better weight regulation during a time when calorie-dense foods are the norm.”

Don’t be discouraged if you end up skipping a day, it is not all or nothing. Your health and fitness goals do not need to be perfect, instead try to prioritize a healthier mindset by adjusting during the holiday season.

Enjoy the holiday season and be sure to take time for yourself. Check in with yourself and make sure you are giving yourself proper self-care. This time of year is about appreciating relationships and creating positive memories.

In the words of Dr. Beth Frates, a clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, “It’s not as much about filling your stomach with fine food as it is about filling your heart with the love of those around you.”

If you or someone you love feel like you need some extra support during this holiday season, please reach out. We are always here to help!

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If you are experiencing symptoms of mental or physical distress and would like to discuss your treatment options, schedule an appointment with one of our providers today by using our online form or by calling (805) 341-3416 during normal business hours.

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