The holiday season is an especially difficult time to focus on fitness. On the one hand, we have extra festivities which means being more “merry” by eating and drinking with our nearest and dearest and on the other hand, all of the extra events and festivities limit the time we have to exercise and feel good about ourselves. By the end of the holiday season, many of us gain some unwelcome weight and get out of our daily fitness routines.
But, with a little bit of planning and a commitment to an intention for well-being, we can enjoy the holidays and still remain healthy. Here are 5 tips for maintaining your well-being during the holiday season.
Plan Ahead. Schedule your exercise in your calendar. Sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and scheduling your classes for the upcoming week in your calendar only takes 15 minutes. Once you have scheduled your weekly workout routine, protect that time by setting clear and consistent boundaries. Inevitably, something will pop up to challenge your commitment to your exercise goals. Clients calling with last minute requests or co-workers stopping by the office to see if you want to grab drinks after work. Stand firm to your “meeting commitment”. Your exercise “meeting” is the most important meeting of the day.
Put Exercise First. The best way to make sure that you don’t miss a workout (and you still make it the company holiday party), is to exercise first thing in the morning. By getting the workout done before your day starts, you will avoid unforeseen interruptions and distractions which could prevent you from working out later in the day.
Integrate Exercise Into Your Holidays. Save time by shopping for holiday gifts online (and get free gift wrapping too) so you can use that time to work out. Have to go to the mall? Schedule some extra time in your trip to take some additional laps around the mall or park far away from the entrance to get additional steps. If family is coming to town to visit, perhaps take to them to a yoga or exercise class with you and spend family time together. They may be missing their exercise routines too!
Recruit Your Friends. Find a friend who can provide inspiration and motivation to your exercise routine (as well as some juicy insight on your favorite TV shows). Studies show that working out with friends is way more effective (and fun) than exercising alone. Many of us need that extra accountability and motivation to get us to the gym or studio.
Relax and Enjoy the Holidays. Enjoy the holidays and celebrate the special occasions with your friends and family. Rather than beating yourself for missing a day of your exercise routine or falling short on a workout goal, embrace the joy of the season and let go of the guilt, shame and disappointment around the holidays. A key component to well-being is resilience- being able to let go of those things that no longer server you, forgiving yourself for your imperfections and showing compassion for yourself.