Whether you like it or not, there will be many circumstances in life that disrupt your daily routine.
These disruptions can certainly be positive (think vacations, holidays, three-day weekends) yet they can still invoke anxiety, especially in regards to maintaining healthy habits.
This is especially relevant towards the end of the calendar year, when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years often indicate travel and, you guessed it, a surplus of tasty treats.
While it is certainly important to enjoy your favorite meals and desserts, it is also beneficial to know how to maintain a balanced lifestyle in the face of so much celebration and merriment.
Easier said than done, in my opinion.
When on break or vacation, it’s so much easier to let our healthy habits slip away. Not only is our environment different, it is different in an aspect that encourages indulgence and laziness. If this goes on for too long, however, it can leave us feeling unproductive, lethargic, and reluctant to get back on track.
This is why it is important to find balance during breaks, especially in regards to our exercise and eating habits. With a few intentional actions, we can learn to stay healthy while still enjoying our time on vacation or at home for the holidays!
Keep a Routine
Your usual day-to-day routine may be disrupted, but there are certainly some aspects of normalcy that can be transferred to your new environment.
Instead of immediately thinking big-picture, such as finding a new gym for the weekend you’re away, or completely cutting out your favorite food groups, consider smaller steps.
For example, keeping the same sleep schedule will ensure that you remain on track when you return to your everyday life, and is also likely to spark the maintenance of other habits. If you continue to wake up at your usual time, you are more likely to partake in your normal, healthy routine. Eat breakfast, experience some morning movement, read the news, etc. Your mornings can make-or-break an entire day, so try to start out on the right foot.
Another important routine to maintain is your eating schedule. A pattern of overeating at dinner and skipping breakfast or lunch will make your energy levels yo-yo, so try to remain as consistent as possible. Listen to your hunger cues, and make sure you are still hitting all of the food groups.
Following your usual routines still leaves room for your favorite treats and indulgences, but ensures that you are still leading a healthy, balanced life.
Slow Down and Enjoy
Another benefit of maintaining your regular meal routine is that you won’t be starving when it comes time to feast! This prevents you from overeating and ensures that you truly enjoy the foods that you have been looking forward to so much.
Sharing a meal with family and friends is also a social experience; take the time to converse with those around you, thank the host, and pass the pumpkin pie around the table!
When it comes to what you’re filling your plate with, the key principle to remember is balance. Definitely enjoy your favorite dishes (and even second helpings!) but make sure you are also getting in your vegetables, protein, and whole grains.
The bottom line is “everything in moderation”- there’s room for all of your favorite foods within a healthy diet!
As we all know, exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. This movement can look different from person to person based on preferences, environment, and lifestyle.
While your routine changes, it can be hard to make time for the same amount of exercise that you’re used to.
And that’s okay!
The goal is to incorporate some type of physical activity, but to also enjoy this time of rest during your break.
A great way to keep moving no matter where you are is by going for walks outside. Not only are you getting your heart rate up, you’ll also benefit from spending some time in the sun!
Other options for exercise outside of your regular environment include yoga, hiking, or even getting in a quick workout with resistance bands! Check out our post about resistance bands to see how you can use them inside your home or while traveling.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, leading a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season is about two things: balance and grace. Aim to maintain healthy habits and routines, but also leave yourself room to indulge and enjoy!
A balanced life isn’t all-or-nothing; in fact, it’s the exact opposite of that. Balance requires a little bit from both sides of the equation, both “discipline” and “relaxation," both “healthy” and “not-as-healthy.” This mindset can be hard to master, but think of it this way: in order to lead a happier, healthier life, you must bKYND to yourself, and everything else will follow.