Maintain a Healthful Routine this Holiday

Stay on track this holiday season!

Stay on track this holiday season!

Do you find it difficult to maintain a healthful routine during the holidays?  Me too.  I can speak for myself and say that falling off the "health wagon" leaves me feeling pretty crummy emotionally and physically uncomfortable.  It happens all too easily as well - one minute a friend's bringing you Christmas cookies or that holiday party is standing in the way of your consistent yoga schedule and BAM! - that routine seems to have been knocked off course.

Because I find this time of year so difficult to maintain a routine that I feel good about, I thought I'd share with you some tips I've tried that hopefully can help you too.

It's ok to say "no"

Just because cookies, cakes and peanut butter balls are scattered everywhere you look doesn't mean you have to eat them.  It's ok to say "no" to someone offering you a baked good.  As much as you risk offending someone with refusing a treat they're offering you, also keep in mind they'll thank you in the long run because they won't have to deal with your blood-sugar-crash-induced moodiness (guilty...).  Having the odd sweet treat is not a bad thing either.  Just choose carefully what you're going to enjoy and enjoy every moment of it.  Then move on and back to your typical pattern of eating.

Commit to group classes or exercise with a friend

When you have a standing commitment to a group class or plans to exercise with a friend, not only are you accountable to yourself for maintaining that fitness routine but you're also accountable to others.  No one likes it when you mess around with their plans, cancel last minute or simply don't show up - all the more reason why it makes it so much easier to maintain an exercise routine when it's not just you involved.  I personally am a fan of yoga classes and commit to four hour-long classes each week.  It's become such an ingrained part of my routine that it would feel weird not to show up.  Classes happen at a certain day at a certain time, which makes it more of a scheduled event in your planner.  So either schedule in gym time with a friend or choose fitness classes to attend - trust me, these two tips make it a lot easier to maintain a routine.  Scheduled accountability!

Set aside five minutes daily for yourself

Every morning I wake up and plan out my day.  I write down my goals of what I'd like to accomplish in the day and this makes it more likely that I will get them done.  Take those five minutes in your morning and plan out your schedule - what you're going to eat for your meals, if you need to prep any food, any exercise plans or classes, time for mindfulness or journaling, etc.  If you have a plan in mind for your day ahead, you'll be more likely to stick to a schedule which includes your health habits that make you feel good.

Of course, it's inevitable that some days you're going to be skipping out on parts of your health routine or unexpected things are going to pop up.  If you're sticking to 80% of your health routine during this time of year, I'd say you're doing incredibly well.