Updated: Dec 19, 2018
This month has disappeared into the space-time continuum, as it does every year. The weeks between Halloween and Christmas blend together, seemingly dragging on and vanishing into thin air all at once. The Thanksgiving holiday is simultaneously a favorite and an afterthought in the big scheme of the “holiday season.”
This is the time of year we seem to have the most trouble dressing ourselves appropriately, especially in Colorado where mother nature is really challenging herself to hit as wide a range of temperatures as possible in a 24 hour period.
It feels like we are in a constant state of flux.
It is dark more often than it is light, and the general consensus is that we might as well stay in bed.
People start to slow down. Eating more and moving less.
And it is obvious why people become apathetic, exhausted, emotional, lethargic, depressed...or any combination of these not so pleasant states.
Stress courts the holidays ruthlessly and we run the risk of cliff diving headfirst away from our health and our sanity.
It can be a nasty cycle, because the further out of sync we get the easier it is to continue to slide.
The holidays should really be a time of rejuvenation.
So in the spirit of combating the less cheerful side of the holiday season, here are a few things to consider:
Food is not a reward, exercise is not a punishment
Drink plenty of water
You are not too old to go sledding.
Don’t berate yourself for relaxing. Do not waste your relaxation time stressing about all of the things you should be doing instead. Let it be meditative, or go on about your list of to-do’s.
Go to bed early.
Call your parents.
Call your siblings.
Call your friends.
Don’t sit on your phone through family gatherings, put it somewhere you can’t glance at it every 6 seconds.
Don’t spend more money than you need to.
Try to break a sweat every day – go to the gym, do some burpees, go ice skating, gear up for a run. (But if you miss a day don’t beat yourself up about it).
Watch a movie and stretch while you watch it.
There is something special about a winter sunrise. Bundle up and catch one.
14. Enjoy the holiday meals but don’t stuff yourself until you feel sick. (Here’s a secret: you can actually prepare any favorite holiday dish at any time throughout the year, so don’t fret!)
Take a few candid photos of your loved ones.
Let yourself get a little introspective, reflect on the year, good and bad. Don’t be judgmental just take a look, spend some time with it. Write it down. Set some goals for the next year. Not just "this is the year I lose the weight," I mean the kind of goals that support what you need at your core. To love yourself and the people around you better, to surround yourself with positivity and opportunities for growth. Get to the root of what you need to be better than okay.
Set time aside to pursue the things you need
If you are in a rut, what needs to change for you to get out? Where can you begin? Baby steps are fine, but if the answers are obvious don’t be afraid to start running.
Try something new, get out of your comfort zone
Write, paint, make music, learn to change your own oil, or how to waltz.
Do the thing you have been putting off.
Set aside a little time every day for yourself. To do nothing. Literally. Find a clean/ uncluttered space quiet space. Light a candle if you’d like. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Just focus on your breathing. Maybe 3 minutes at a time. Keep it simple, be consistent.
And here is a little secret about this part of the year. It is actually one of the best times to start getting on track and setting goals for your health. Physically, mentally, spiritually you name it.
In this space where our focus breaks away from our normal routine, what’s one more change?
If there is a class you have been wanting to try out, go do it!
There will probably be a lull in attendance as people are traveling for the holidays. That makes this the perfect time to sneak in and get a little one on one attention from an instructor.
The gym will likely feel like a more neutral place as well, since everyone’s schedules are a bit interrupted. It is a good time to go test the waters.
Keep it simple, don’t set yourself up for failure.
Remember the importance of balance.
And if you can commit to a new goal during this time of the year, the rest of the year should be a piece of cake!