Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Festive Balancing Act

The holidays can be majorly stressful. Aside from finding the perfect gift within your budget, baking ten different kinds of cookies, hosting friends, and traveling, PLUS your normal routine of going to work/school...when the heck do you find time to work out?

How in the world do you continue a balanced lifestyle during the holidays?

1. Be a little selfish
Yes, this is the season of giving. But you also have to give to yourself. Take time for yourself and for your health to exercise. There are so many ways to stay active during the holidays whether it's a hometown holiday 5k or catching up with your dad while walking around the neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights. Both my mom and I run so I'm looking forward to catching up with her while getting in some miles! Tell your family your workout plans and make sure to stick to your fitness goals, even at the holidays. It's hard to merge schedules and routines when you're used to doing your own thing, but being firm with what's important to you will make you happy you got your workout in as well as relieve all the stress of the holidays. I always feel more patient after I run!
2. Be flexible
While it is important to remain active during the holidays, it is also important to spend time with family and friends. For example, I have plans next week Tuesday and Thursday with family that are all-day events, so I will do my runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If plans change, I will simply move the day I run. Working out is a priority for me, especially during the time of year I want to enjoy seasonal homemade treats, but I also want to spend as much time as possible with my family, so I know that means running on days I can or getting up early to workout before going on the day's adventures.
My charming sister and dad. Sweet face Chel. Who wouldn't want to spend all day with that face?

3. Make wise food choices
Y'all know I love me some cookies (and m&ms and cake and pie). But I also know exactly what I'm looking forward to and what isn't my favorite. I LOVE gingerbread cookies and tollhouse pie, and I will definitely be eating the heck out of those. But butterballs? Sugar cookies? Not my favorite. Yes, I like them, but I'd rather have gingerbread cookies. So I will forgo those because they aren't as calorie-worthy as my favorites. I also eat healthy, normal foods surrounding the indulgent meals/days. I normally have peanut butter-banana-chocolate soy milk shakes every morning for breakfast, which I will continue to do on vacation. At restaurants I choose chicken and fish with steamed vegetables and continue to track my calories (which works for me-I know everyone is different!). Basically, don't indulge all day every day and pick and choose your treats.

4. Disconnect from 24-7 technology
This is family and friends time. While I will definitely be blogging and tweeting during our trip, I also want to listen to what my family and friends are saying. I never get to see them, so my attention is important. I want to hear what they have been up to and enjoy my time with them. Do the same! Enjoy your loved ones and their company! Take pictures and watch movies! (And then post pictures so we can all see them! Haha). Just be present with your loved ones this holiday. That is one of the hardest things to balance but one of the most rewarding.

5. Relax and get enough sleep
I am beyond excited for all of the day trips I have planned next week, but I'm also looking forward to chilling out on the couch watching Christmas movies and sleeping in. Being stressed, bad eating, and a lack of sleep ruins the holidays. Take a break from wrapping gifts and go to bed! You can always wrap them tomorrow!

How do you create balance during the holidays?

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  1. Great advice!!! i am going to sit down and really try to step away from the 24/7 technology. You are sooooo right. This is time for friends and family. That tip reminds me of a recent How I Met Your Mother episode where the pre was friends joking at the bar. The post was everyone looking at their phones saying the bare minimum. perhaps its time for us all to put down the tech!!

  2. Awesome. Especially love four and five. And those cookies? Oh WOW.

  3. This is all really good advice, I just can't say no to the Christmas sweets. And now I especially can't say no to 24-7 technology because of Pinterest!

  4. My workouts and run destress me during the holidays! Last year I didn't workout or run much during the month of December and I was mopey and in a crappy mood most of the month. But this year I have been working out every day and my attitude is much more positive and I feel so much better about myself!

  5. Awesome advice! Now that I'm done with classes for a few weeks I need to get back into running again :)