The holidays are upon us and it is common for many adults to gain 5-10 lbs and lose sight of our wellness goals. I'll share a few tips that help our family stay healthy and happy over the holidays.
1. Eat Well. Planning is key to keep a relatively healthy diet over the holidays. This is a busy time and to avoid the temptation of drive-throughs and soft pretzels at the mall, consider packing healthy snacks. Some of my favorite snacks on the go are almonds, boiled eggs, turkey roll-ups or protein bars. We also tend to have less time for dinner prep so plan ahead and stock your freezer with healthy, easy to prepare meals. Know which foods are high in caloric content and eat them sparingly. I like to use a tracker such as MyFitnessPal.
2. Prevent Illness. As the winter months approach, so does the cold and flu season. The most effective defense to getting sick is washing your hands. Our hands are the body part that germs are most commonly found, and we are constantly touching our eyes, nose and mouth without even realizing it. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water will help keep you and your family well this holiday season. We also incorporate the use of essential oils to boost our immune systems during cold and flu season. There are many essential oils that help fight off those germs. Some of my favorites are Thieves and Oregano from Young Living.
3. De-Stress. For many of us, the holidays are a season of fun, family and happiness. But that's not the case for everyone. Rates of depression are actually at their highest during the holidays. It's important to set boundaries, learn to say no, and to take some time for yourself. Limit your schedule so that it is manageable and fun without creating additional stress. Find time for the things you love. Whether it's a pedicure, yoga class, or massage, make your "me-time" a priority. I promise you will be a better spouse, parent and friend when you are intentional about carving out time to de-stress.
4. Sleep. First, meet my sweet daughter Adalae and our newest family member, Loki. Loki is a 10 week old Goldendoodle puppy and is absolutely adorable but a real pain at night when he thinks 3am is playtime. Speaking of sleep, I was recently challenged to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep for 7 days straight. To be honest, some days were harder than others. Laundry was left undone, sometimes dishes left in the sink, and let's be real, that show I was binge watching on Netflix got unwatched. But I did it and immediately noticed a difference in my energy levels and clarity of thought. With so many demands on us, getting adequate sleep often takes a backseat to getting that one last thing done. I would encourage you to try it yourself. 7 hours for 7 days.
5. Help Others. If you are reading this post through an internet or data connection of some-sort, you are richer than 85% of the world's population. Wow! Let us remember how incredibly blessed we are this season and use our resources and talents to give back to those less fortunate. Go volunteer, donate to an organization you are passionate about, or consider providing a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas to a needy family.
6. Stay Active. Last, but certainly not lease, is to keep moving. A study by the US Government found that most adults gained more than a pound of body weight over the holiday. Unfortunately, most of these adults did not shed that weight over the following year. A few indulgent holiday seasons can really add up! But there is good news. Studies show that adults that stay active tend to not gain weight, and some even lose weight during the holidays. Ideally, you should aim to exercise 4-5 times per week. Even though it's cold outside, find activities that are fun and get the body moving. Bundle up and go sledding or ice skating with the family. And there are plenty of indoor options, like PILATES.
I'm a BASI Certified Pilates Instructor by day, somewhat competent housewife by night. I used to have hobbies but then CHILDRENS. I am married to the love of my life and somewhat charismatic Rustin Gradke. I have 4 kids that are wonderful sometimes but mostly they just eat a lot. I'm a lover of God and movement and the occasional bowl of queso.