Happily Habitual: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

Have you ever found yourself in January reflecting on the last two months wishing you would have committed to your goals a bit more? As the holidays start creeping in, often times so do the bad habits. Hearty food, good company, and a fluctuating schedule is a great equation for a decline in health and motivation.


In the book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about the importance of routine and making small changes a habitual decision. Continuous changes, whether big or small, compound into something bigger; the better the habit, the better the change! During the holidays, it can be easy to over-indulge and prioritize the couch over a work out. But with these few tips and deciding to make the small but important changes, managing your wellness at the end of the year can be a bit easier!


1. Prioritize and Preschedule Workouts

If your schedule looks anything like mine around Thanksgiving and Christmas, often times you are on the go. Know your travel plans ahead of time, schedule your time for working out, and stick to it!


Traveling? Have a list of at home/no equipment work outs already picked out and ready to go for your time away from home. HIIT workouts, outdoor activities, and yoga are great ways to stay active while out and about. (Explore some of my favorites on my Fitness page)


2. Avoid Overindulging

Turkey, cranberries, potatoes, dessert; the list goes on and on! How can you say no?! Overindulging actually impacts ones body in a variety of ways and can slow digestion. It leads to heartburn, gassiness, bloating, and often times a sleepy crash after the big meal. That last thing you want to deal with is a holiday food hangover.


Practice portion control, listen to your body, and take some for the road if you are too full but don't want to miss out! Find out more about overindulgence here.


3. Mindful Behaviors and Setting Intention

Atomic Habits lists four rules to create better habits: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying. Before getting caught up in the chaotic schedule of the holidays, write out a list of reasons of why you want to stay on track and how you plan on doing it. Proper preparation prevents poor performance! Setting your intention using meditation, journaling, or whatever works best, will set you up for success. And don't be afraid to share those goals with others!


4. Practicing Gratefulness

Whatever your holidays look like, it is important to keep the mind healthy through it all. Holidays can bring a lot of stress for individuals and families. Write out a list of things that made you grateful throughout the day, reflect about something that made you happy with a friend or significant other, or send out holiday cards with a personalized message to your loved ones. Either way, share the thankfulness :)


Overall, the holidays are a time to come together and enjoy the company of friends and family. Although many of us are lucky to have a decreased amount of work around these times, keeping our mental and physical well-being should stay top of mind. I look forward to enjoying these next couple of months with my loved ones, while staying on track! What do you do to say healthy during the holidays?