Wellness basics to keep you feeling your best this Holiday Season

Hello Holiday Season, I knew you were coming. You show up every year at the same time, yet somehow you never cease to surprise me. It feels like you’re arriving earlier than before. You’re like an old friend, bringing with you memories of Christmas’ past, asking me to slow down, to be present and visit awhile. 

At the same time, you can hit me like a freight train, leaving me stunned and immobilized. Sometimes I’m unable to make the day-to-day health decisions that keep me in balance. 

What if this holiday season we make our wellness decisions before the food hits the table, instead of compromising our well-being in the moment? Let’s lock arms this Holiday season girls and say NO THANKS.

There are daily decisions that impact our state of well-being. The food we eat, our physical activity level, whether or not we choose to practice stress relief, self-care and get enough sleep can be compromised this time or year. This can leave us feeling tired, overwhelmed, fatigued, and unable to find joy in the season’s festivities.

Here are a few wellness basics that will help us remain in the driver’s seat. Keep in mind, these principles are science/evidence-based and apply to all humans. As always, the decision to execute what is realistic and best for you is in your hands. 

Holiday Wellness Basics: 

  • Fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods. 

    • For me, mood and food go hand-in-hand. Good healthy food = Good healthy mood

    • Try eating three meals per day that include:

      • lean protein like chicken, fish or eggs

      • dark green/colorful veggies packed with water and fiber

      • A small amount of healthy fat like avocado or olive oil

      • A small amount of healthy starch or whole grain

    • If you find yourself still hungry, add 1 or 2 small nutrient-dense snacks during the day between meals. Some great snack choices are:

      • ½ of an apple with a TLB. nut butter. 

      • A hard-boiled egg and a hand full of fresh crisp veggies

  • Drink Plenty of Water

    • Aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. More if you exercise.

      • Water keeps every system in your body functioning correctly!

      • We have the best chance of feeling well when our bodies are functioning correctly.

  • Prioritize Sleep

Listen to your body. Most often it will give you clues as to how much sleep is best for you. Honestly, most of us have a set wake up time M-F. From getting kids to school or heading to work, or both, the start time of your day is likely consistent. Try going to bed in the evening when you’re tired, rather than pushing yourself past the point of exhaustion to accomplish one more task. It will be there tomorrow, that’s for sure. When you’re rested, you feel better—kind of simple right?

  • Keep your body moving

If you have an existing exercise routine, stick to it like glue. Endorphins are real, they make you feel better. If you’re not currently exercising, go for walk, dance to your favorite jam around the living room until you work up a sweat, play outside with your kids, it’s all exercise. Choose something you like and go do it. By the way, exercise does not have to take an hour, carving out 20 minutes per day and using it well produces results.

  • Quiet your mind. Practice stress relief, gratitude, and self-care

Just like endorphins, stress is real. Left unattended, stress wreaks havoc on all of your body systems. Ask yourself what is it that truly helps you decompress and do it every day. For me, it’s waking up before the rest of the world and having quiet time with God. Also, a walk works wonders for me. Focus on what you are grateful for. When you count your blessings, your brain produces dopamine, which makes you feel good and relieves stress. If your feeling uber stressed, it’s a clue from your body to decompress.

  • Practice moderation 

Enjoy a Christmas cookie or two. If you’re tempted to eat a dozen, that craving is a clue. Your body may really be asking for some nutrient-dense food.

Your body may be asking for some rest or stress relief.

Your body may be thirsty.

If you find yourself reading this, and these basics don’t feel like basics for you, no worries. Pick one that you think is most realistic for you to try right now. Implementing any of these practices will yield twice your investment. That’s right, you put in 50 cents worth of any of these wellness behaviors and they will pay you a dollar’s worth of results, if not more. That’s too good a deal to pass up any time year.

Happy Thanksgiving & God Bless,

Ann