The holiday season tends to be a busy time of year for all of us, as you can tell from my recent blog-post-slacking, but I kind of love the hustle and bustle. However, my schedule has felt completely out of wack lately, which is one reason I didn't post last Friday. Steve has had the last two Fridays off (it's nice when you have so much vacation time left at the end of the year, that your company is literally forcing you to take days off. Yay for three day weekends in December!). I kept thinking that Friday was Saturday, so I literally forgot to post!
But maybe it's a good thing for me to ease up on myself a bit. I've had a ton going on, and I never want blogging to get to a point where it feels forced or I don't enjoy it.
During all the insanity lately, I've made an effort to try and maintain a lifestyle that will allow me to
a.) not look like a bloated pig over Christmas
b.) feel healthy
c.) stay energized
It's important to center yourself and have sort of a neutral place to come back to whenever you stray...and trust me, I DO stray. Between Christmas parties with junk food and cocktails, crazy schedules, shopping traffic, traveling, etc. etc. etc., it's almost impossible not to end up feeling like a big 'ol mess at some point, whether it's from stress or bad eating habits. Or both.
So here are some of my tips to counteract the "Christmas Effect", as I will call it.
1. Do some physical activity every day, for at least 15-20 minutes.
On good days I'll do 30-45 minutes. Usually it'll just be a power walk/run on the treadmill, and on really good days I'll do crunches, push ups, and lunges afterward. I've actually been trying to get in 50 crunches each morning before I do anything else. A great routine to get into! None of this has to take a lot of time, and I can't tell you how much better I feel on the days when I've worked out for even 15 minutes.
p.s. Shopping trips CAN count (as they say), but try to add it to your day as a bonus to your treadmill time. You'll feel even better and more accomplished.
2. Eat healthy when not around tempting situations.
I know there are going to be so many times this month where I will be surrounded by delicious foods, and I am just NOT going to be that girl who turns down a Christmas cookie (or 2, or 3...) or a cup of eggnog (with rum...) when it's offered to me. But I feel less guilty (and in the long run: less full, less bloated, and less lethargic!) about letting myself have those foods when I know I've been eating really well during the majority of the week.
My everyday "yes" foods:
- Blackberries (sometimes I'll sprinkle a little feta cheese on top)
- Grape tomatoes
- Baby carrots
- Hummus (Usually as dip for the baby carrots or grape tomatoes)
- Hot tea (with honey and a little vanilla soy milk)
- Coffee (usually with just a splash of soy milk. Coffee's great if you don't load it up with calories!)
- V8 juice
- Chicken breasts
- Canned tuna (in water)
- Whole wheat bread (in moderation)
- Water. Stay hydrated.
3. Winterize your beauty routine.
Take time to put on your favorite body lotion after a shower to protect against dry skin, try using a deep condition (my hair is SUPER dry, so this is a must for me), and/or invest in a teeth whitening treatment (no dentists - just strips or a good toothpaste). You'll feel great "maintaining" yourself a bit in the dead of winter. Maybe opt for a slight change to your hair. I just recently re-did my roots, and I'm considering cutting some bangs to spruce up my hair even more. Give yourself a home manicure/pedicure one night in front of the TV. Slather lots of lotion on those dry feet and put on your comfiest, fuzzy socks. I also highly suggest investing in some warm pajamas. Something comfortable, but a pair that still makes you feel cute.
If you have any tips or feedback, please share!