The holiday season is finally here. It’s a time of overspending, overindulging and regret. It’s a fun period, but there’s no denying that the festive season has its stresses. As mindfulness is the wellbeing movement of the moment, here’s how you can stay calm and level during the frantic festivities.
1. Eat the right foods It’s the holiday season and for many of us, that’s a free pass to eat and drink what we want, when we want. However, the foods we tend to choose at this time aren’t always those that are necessarily good for restoring or maintaining our energy levels, our weight or even our level of stress. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t indulge in festive treats, but just stay aware of what you’re eating.
Be sure to incorporate plenty of fiber into your diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These not only provide you with energy, which you’ll need to make it through the season, but are also packed with vital nutrients to keep your brain healthy and mood up. Plus, if you are helping yourself to more treats than usual, fiber will help to aid digestion.
2. Stay active For many people, it’s not easy to stay active during the holiday season and it can be easy to neglect your usual exercise routine, but it’s important to keep up with your normal programme. Alongside the physical benefits like increasing your cardiovascular fitness, burning fat and providing energy, exercise is one of the best ways of managing stress.
If you have planned events which coincide with your normal activities, don’t be afraid to move your training to another time during the day or a different day. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks of putting your training off until the new year.
3. Take 5 and breathe Psychological stress can contribute to the development of many diseases, so it’s vital to keep it under control. One stress management tool we can all incorporate into our daily lives is deep breathing.
A great thing about breathing exercises is that they can be carried out anywhere and at any time. So, if this holiday season you find yourself refereeing a family argument or simply need some time to yourself, try this: · Breathe in through your nose for four seconds · Hold your breath for 2 seconds · Then exhale for 8 seconds and hold for 1 second · Repeat this for one minute
Practice this technique and see if it makes you feel more relaxed during the day. You can also try it just before going to bed to help you relax before going to sleep.
4. Rest Getting enough rest over the holiday season can be difficult but it’s easily the best way to recharge your batteries. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep between long days at work, shopping sprees, parties and present wrapping. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep by night, try taking power naps during the day. Or use breathing techniques to help keep your mind and body relaxed.
It’s also vital to get rest between training sessions. Although you might be tempted to cram in your training or train for longer or harder to make up for missed sessions, you should make sure you get enough rest. Overdoing it will only result in injury and add to the stress of the holiday season.
The holiday season is a stressful time for most of us. But you can make it easier by eating a healthy diet, staying active and practising mindfulness techniques to help you get through unscathed.