Chances are the holidays this year are going to look a little (a lot!) different than most other years. Being prepared for that difference ahead of time can help you and your loved ones avoid disappointment and enjoy yourself.
I’ve got a game-plan to help you stay on-track. It’s about being intentional with how you spend your time over the next month and a half. This can include planning new/different activities or changing up your holiday traditions and celebrations.
1. Food. Organize your day-to-day meals and plan ahead. What you eat has a powerful effect on how you feel — from your mood to your energy and it even plays a role in your immune system and sleep.
When it comes to your holiday meal traditions, this might be a good year to switch things up. If you usually cook/bake a lot of holiday meals or treats, this is an opportunity to try new recipes — and scale the amount back a bit so there are fewer temptations. Focusing on the quality of food vs. quantity can make a major difference.
2. Move. Keep your energy up and immune system healthy by exercising at least 30 minutes most days of the week. This can be as simple as going for a brisk walk. As a bonus, this is good for your mood, and research shows that getting in those 30 minutes can cut your chances of getting a cold in half.
3. Be more prepared than usual. This is for your own peace of mind so you can avoid last-minute stress. For example, if you plan on doing your holiday shopping online, do it now. As you know, shipping times have been all over the place this year. Luckily many retailers are doing extended and virtual Black Friday sales to accommodate, so you can still get the deals. Personally, I like to shop local and support small businesses whenever possible!
If you normally travel but are staying home this year, come up with some activities ahead of time to help you capture the magic of the season so you can still make memories despite a change of your typical plans. Ask other household members what they would like to do to celebrate this year. This will add to the festive spirit and give everyone an opportunity share how they feel.
4. Self-care. If you do find yourself feeling down about how this year is different, take some time to acknowledge those feelings. And then do something to take control and lift your mood. Get some exercise, send a card in the mail to a friend, take a hot bath, read a book, hop on a video chat with a family member, bake something healthy for a neighbor, etc. For family time, you can plan a movie or game night, a family walk to look at decorations, or putting together care packages for those in need. You’ve got plenty of options — the key is just to have a plan so you don’t have to wing it.
I hope these suggestions help spark some new ideas for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Thomas Fitness Consulting was launched in 2017 after Laura Thomas decided to fulfill her dream of helping professional women and expecting and new mothers find strength and energy through movement and accountability support. She currently serves the greater Westlake and Broadview Heights areas in-person and also offers virtual coaching. For more information, visit thomasfitnessconsulting.com.