The holidays are here! That means family, fun, vacation, laughing with loved ones and continuing family traditions. It also means eating all the warm, comfort foods, staying up later than usual, skipping the gym, throwing back a few extra holiday cocktails and traveling, whether near or far. We can all admit that with the joy and busyness of the holidays comes lax of our usual routines. Which leads us into January, the month EVERYONE plans to get back on track.
But what if we didn’t have to get “back on track?” What if we could set ourselves up to be successful and proactive with our health over the holidays so that when the hustle and bustle of the season dies down, we simply need to continue onward with our already solid gold, healthy habits?
Here are a few ways to make that happen for yourself and your loved ones over the holidays!
1. Be prepared and plan ahead!
It’s probably not a mystery as to what your holiday plans are. Which means using the excuse of getting “blindsided” simply equates to you being lazy… sorry to be blunt! So, look at your plans and make a plan within them. If you’re traveling, use the tips and tricks below to set yourself for smart traveling. On your days leading up to your trip, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and minimize stress to avoid kicking your immune system where the sun don’t shine. If you know you’re going to a family member’s house whose idea of healthy is canned sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows, pack snacks and meals to help you avoid relying on their food to get you through your stay. Look at a timeline and set a goal to have everything packed and ready two or three days prior to minimize the last minute stresses of packing. Tell the kids to have everything ready to go the week prior.
2. Bring a cooler and easy travel snacks.
Whether you’re flying or driving, don’t get caught with an empty belly and a caramel roll in hand. Pack snacks for your road trip that are healthy and will keep you moving towards your health goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a taste of Thanksgiving Day dessert, but eating healthfully around those moments of indulgence will keep you from beating yourself and your body up with sugary holiday goodies. Making easy to store in the cooler type things like healthy energy balls, paleo muffins, sweet potatoes, fresh veggies and tuna will make your trip healthy and tasty.
3. Bring a green!
I think we can all agree that making veggies and healing greens a priority over the holidays is at the bottom of the list. So make it easy on yourself and opt for a powdered greens blend. You can find these at most health foods and grocery stores. You just mix them up with a liquid and drink on down. Getting greens in your diet will help your body maintain a strong immune system and avoid getting sick. It will also help to eliminate any toxins that build up from eating and drinking a few of the not-so-healthy holiday treats.
4. Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it twice, you’ve probably heard it a million times. Skipping on water, especially when you’re traveling is a terrible, no good idea! If you’re worried about having to stop to pee every hour, too bad. Be sure you’re hydrating your body whether you’re driving, flying or already made it to your destination. This is essential for keeping you healthy, helping you to maintain good sleep and make good food choices.
5. Keep your immune system in check with essential oils.
Essential oils are extremely powerful when it comes to keeping the immune system in prime function and helping you avoid the tickly throat, stuffy nose and achy body. There are so many that are helpful but my favorite are OnGuard (doTerra), Thieves (Young Living), Peppermint, Oregano and Lemon.
6. Make sleep a priority.
Sleep like you’re on vacation! Oh wait, you probably are. Yes, it’s easy to stay up late with all the excitement and fun, but it will get you nowhere for staying on track with your sleep schedule when you have to return to reality. Shoot to maintain a similar sleep schedule to your average week. If you have more time to sleep than usual, sleep in! However, staying up later just to avoid missing out on too many giggles and drinks will only be harmful to your body, immune system and regular schedule. Aim for 8-9 hours minimum and always try to go to bed by 11 p.m.
7. Tummy settling teas.
It’s no surprise that you’ll be nibbling on some treats and goodies that usually come nowhere near your house. And nothing is more uncomfortable or embarrassing than having to spend more time than anyone else in the powder room, lavatory, loo, outhouse, comfort room, washroom or whatever else you want to call it. Plus, feeling gassy, bloated and like you have to toot is just downright uncomfortable, especially if you’re traveling. So keep your loved ones, who will be traveling in the car, in mind and make yourself some tummy settling teas. The best ones are ginger, peppermint, detox and echinacea, to keep any illness at bay.
8. Stretch out and move your body.
The holiday is a great time to bundle up and go for walks with loved ones. Or get the crew together to do an at-home workout without weights. Give this one a try:
In 15 minutes complete as many as you can of the following:
- 10 lunges
- 10 pushups
- 10 bear crawls
- 10 dips
- 10 situps
Afterwards, spend some time stretching out. Laying around and stretching out after eating or at the end of the day is another great thing to encourage family members to do with you.