The holidays bring both joy and stress. It’s a two edge sword. If you’re trying to make lifestyle changes, it can be even worse. There are traditions that aren’t always healthy—like the gluttony that often accompanies the holidays. That often occurs because so many of your childhood favorites are only made at Christmas time. You can stay on track at Christmas with a little planning and enjoy the holidays to their fullest.
Plan, plan and plan some more, then make it a group project.
Create a list of all the holiday tasks you have to do, then look for ways to narrow the list. Some of the special things you do may not be as special as you think. Check with the family to see if they want your holiday puff pastry, Baklava or homemade kieflies. If the answer is no, you can scratch it off your list, but if it’s a resounding yes, get the gang to help. With any labor intensive cooking, sometimes more hands can help. Getting one or two people to roll the kieflies dough in little circles and another to fill and roll them, with the third minding the oven and putting them into the powdered sugar when they’re done, the task is cut in half. You don’t have to do it all alone. Teamwork takes the stress out and can make it fun.
Start a new tradition.
Okay, making delectable sweets that you’re sure to eat, may not have been a good example. How about changing that to healthier sweets or snacks. Even if it’s a holiday tradition to create thousands of calories in the name of the holidays, try switching it up a bit and try out new lower calorie, healthier recipes. Experiment with new healthier treats for the holidays.
Take time for yourself.
Yes, the holidays are for sharing with others you care about, but you still deserve to be on that list. Carve out an hour or two a day just for you. Make it your early Christmas gift to yourself. Exercise, take a bubble bath, or sit quietly. Whatever helps you to relax and feel refreshed.
- If you’re under a lot of stress that you can’t seem to shake, go to the gym and work your hardest. Exercise is the best stress buster around.
- Stick to a schedule. Eat at a specific time every day, workout regularly and get to bed on time at night. Sticking with a schedule makes it far easier and uncomfortable when you change that schedule.
- Eat before you go to parties. Often the food they have are more snack foods and high calorie foods. Even if they’re the most delicious in town, if you’ve already eaten, you’ll only be tempted to nibble a bit.
- Give yourself a pass for one day. Choose the holiday meal where you’ll eat that slice of pumpkin pie and a helping of the creamiest mashed potatoes in town. You aren’t falling off the wagon if you intend to make a stop. Still keep portion size in mind, eat slowly and don’t eat until you’re sick…just enjoy every bite.