If you are like me, you thoroughly enjoyed many holiday meals for what seems like the last 4 weeks and quite possibly, the most physical activity you encountered involved preventing the turkey fryer from lighting the house on fire and this is OKAY! It’s important to treat yourself to maintain healthy habits longterm. However, the holiday season can be a tough few weeks that can negatively impact all your wellness success and set you on an apocalyptic course for next year. Let’s avoid all that negativity and enjoy the start of another excellent year. Here are a few tips as we head into a new season to get your health back on track!
Recognize your situation. There has been a lot going on for everyone and it might not seem like things are going to slow down anytime soon. Despite the chaos, strive to get as close to your regular sleep schedule as you can and carve out at least 30 minutes daily of rest such as mediation or forest bathing (fancy way of saying “take a walk through the woods”).
Commit to a meal. Dedicate yourself to at least one meal everyday that is nutrient dense. We are talking minimal processing and fresh ingredients. Can’t go wrong with plain oats seasoned with spices and topped with fresh fruit and almond butter. How about a grilled chicken breast with fresh vegetables sautéed with extra virgin olive oil? Just once a day, you’re going to ensure your body gets what it needs. More than once a day is a bonus.
Go Move Now. Get up and do literally anything that raises your heart rate above resting for at least 60 minutes daily. This doesn't mean you need to go join your local CrossFit gym. It can be as simple as breaking down holiday decorations, completing house projects or cleaning, taking the dog for a walk, or walking laps around your office every 50 minutes for 10 minutes.
Give appreciation. This is the time for reaching out to old friends and family members while maintaining the relationships you rely on every day. It might be as simple as a group text between old friends. Whatever it is, decide on four tasks that you will accomplish in January to foster, repair, or sustain your emotional connections to those around you. You are going to need their support.
Prostrate yourself, literally or metaphorically. This is the last and seemingly the hardest one. Pick just one act of active charity and actually get it done. Automatic donations to public radio do not count. Find an opportunity that requires your time and energy to give alms. Shelters and soup kitchens need help. Go build a house. Spend some time volunteering at your religious organization or volunteer to help someone in the neighborhood. Anything that brings joy or relief to people other than yourself at the expense of your effort.