The holiday season is such an exciting, yet busy, time of the year. In the midst of taking care of all the hustle and bustle, to-do lists, gift-wrapping, and food preparation, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself. Many of us overlook our personal health and well being during this season in order to focus more of our attention on other people or tasks. While that approach can be tempting, it is important to remember to take care of your own mental and physical health needs as well. Here are a few ways to help incorporate your health into the craziness of the holidays.
1. Set aside time to keep your normal exercise routine.
If you’re one who exercises on a regular basis, set aside scheduled time to keep your normal routine – or at least a variation of it. It’s tempting to pause this area of our lives during the holidays and promise ourselves to resume after the first of the year. This is a risky thing to do, because our bodies will start to form new, inactive routines during that time. As a result, picking our active lives back up will be more difficult than we expected.
The best way to approach this is to try your best to keep your fitness schedule. Try the following technique, even if you are overwhelmed with everything you need to do, because exercise helps to relieve stress and promote both physical and mental health. If you find yourself short on time, try shortening the length of your exercise while continuing to exercise on the same days and times as much as possible. For example, if you normally walk for one hour twice a week, try shortening your walks to a half hour while continuing the twice a week schedule. This is a good compromise that allows you to save time and keep your body in its routine.
2. Remember not to push yourself too hard.
Since the holiday season usually goes hand-in-hand with being busy, it is easy to commit to doing a million different things. There are parties to attend, meals to prepare, gifts to purchase, and people to meet with. All the festivities of the holidays can be so much fun and help to make the season so special and enjoyable! Sometimes, though, we get so excited to partake in all of the merriment that we overfill our schedules, leaving us with no time to rest or remember our health.
Some people thrive on being busy and need little time to rest, while others get worn out from being on the go and need more recovery time. Both of these are perfectly okay (it’s just the way we’re made), but EVERYONE needs rest at some point to stay healthy. Try to realize what you personally need and not overdo it. It may be helpful for you to plan a “stay-at-home” or “rest” day to do just that – rest and let your body recover from all the running-around you’ve been doing.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We all need help sometimes. Whether you need an exercise buddy to motivate you to keep your fitness routine during the holidays, or you need someone who helps you make your family’s holiday meal because you aren’t able to move around as well as last year, don’t be afraid to ask. There are people who care about you, your health, and your wellbeing, and someone will be there to lend a helping hand and support you if you ask.
During the crazy holiday season, it is so easy to dwell on everything that needs to get done. Try to remember the importance of your health and not set it on the back burner. Lastly, allow the joy and merriment of this season into your life, because it only comes once a year.