Healthful Holidays

Managing your expectations for the holidays, and yourself, is always an interesting exercise in reflexivity.

My first instinct is to string up all the lights, bake all the cookies, attend all the parties, write all the cards and do all the day dreaming….while still eating mindfully and working out regularly.

And sometimes, I manage to do it all.

Most of the time, this is at the expense of my partner’s sanity (thanks, manfriend; sorry, manfriend).

So, first and foremost, let’s address the thing that will set us up for failure or success: our calendars. 

It’s important to decide which activities this holiday season are most important to you. If it’s the special holiday events that make you sparkle most, jot those into your day planner first. If it’s maintaining your workout regime or diet, plot out the time to address those priorities first.

If you decide that the holidays have precedence, even to the “detriment” of your exercise practices, stick to it. Have the Holiday-est Holiday anyone has ever seen. See:  To Exercise or Not

Once you’ve set up your calendar to reflect the time needed to do the thing you value most, season it with everything else. If your work, yoga, gym, and cardio mean you’re often up early and putting in long days, then that should be the bulk of your calendar soup. Add in your holiday adventures in a way that won’t impede the lifestyle you want to have, for example:

If yoga class is at 5:30 am Monday morning, it is unlikely that I will eat particularly poorly or stay up late at a Christmas party Sunday night.

However, if it is my best friend’s Christmas party and I can’t imagine missing it, I will reschedule yoga for another day that week…or even just drop it. There’s no point in setting my alarm clock for 4:45 and then feeling the fatigue and guilt of not going for hours afterwards.

So, be honest with yourself and what you care about, and don’t be afraid to drop the ball on certain things. They are, after all, your holidays. You should do with them as you please.