Healthy Holidays

I know that I am not the only person who loves the holidays. I love them so much that I love to pack in ALL the FUN, and in that packing, I find myself overwhelmed and even a little exhausted. If you are like me, your month of December is jam-packed. It is jam-packed with goodness, but jam-packed, nonetheless. As I write this, it’s really my personal reminder that I need to take care of myself, but I am doing this writing-streak so I have to publish something, AND someone out there may find one of these tips helpful. (Note: these tips aren’t anything we don’t already know. They are just reminders.)

This picture is an oldie-and-super-goodie. It has been far too long since I have spent the holidays with my entire family. I love that this year, I will get to be there with them.

Tip #1: Move Your Body Every Single Day

This is not easy when we are busy, and it’s definitely not easy when the weather isn’t great. As I write this, I look outside and see rain and wind. It is not ideal walking or running weather, and those are my go-to activities. It’s days like today that I have to REALLY remind myself of how important it is to move. Physical activity doesn’t have to be running five miles or doing a serious HIIT workout. It can be a series of stretches. It can be turning on some music and dancing around. It can be speed walking as you do your shopping. Whatever activity you choose to do, be sure and do it daily. Your body will thank you. If you sweat, you are more likely to build up some endorphins, and endorphins are my favorite, so I like to move enough to sweat. That being stated, I don’t expect that everyone likes endorphins as much as I do.

Because the weather is as gross as weather can be, I had to go back to find an old picture. I wanted one with blue skies because don’t we all love moving our bodies when the weather is perfect?

Tip #2: Drink MORE Water

So this tip really is for me. This time of year, we may be socializing a little more, and usually that means two things: alcohol and carbs. Now, I am not saying don’t enjoy the wine or the beautiful holiday treat. I know I have been enjoying them, and I will continue to do so. Egg Nog is my favorite, and I look forward to enjoying it this evening. However, with the addition of these two things in your body, don’t forget to balance it with more water. If your body is used to five glasses of water on days that you don’t drink alcohol and don’t enjoy those holiday cookies, then on days where you plan to drink or snack, add in a couple more glasses of water. Your body will thank you.

Tip #3: Vitamins and Minerals

Yes, friends, this means your GREENS. Unfortunately, we can’t live off cookies and wine alone. This time of year is the time to DOUBLE-DOWN on your healthy greens. Earlier this week, I went to the doctor for my first check up in five years. When she looked at my record, she said, “well, it’s good that you haven’t been in to see us. This means you are healthy, but five years is a little long. I’m glad you came in.” I was there for a checkup. Most people she is seeing this time of year, are actually sick. This is the time of year that people will need to see the doctor. Sniffles can turn into an upper raspatory infection in no time. By taking your vitamins, eating your greens, and putting MORE healthy stuff into your body, you may be able to avoid the doctor.

Tip #4: Meditate, Pray, Journal

This is a big ask. It’s a big ask for me, and I actually do all of these things. I just haven’t been making time to do them lately. If you pray, this is a wonderful time of year to make it a habit. If you don’t pray, maybe try meditating. You don’t need to sit on a mat for 30 minutes but stopping for quite time for a few minutes will help you immensely. I may be using this writing activity as my journaling, but for many of you, just writing down three things you are grateful for each day may help your mindset. There is something therapeutic about writing down those three things.

I have been using the Calm app for a few years. You can just turn on peaceful music and set a timer. You don’t need an app to sit in silence. I just happen to like the guided meditations that they do.

Tip #5: Set and Keep Your Boundaries

I was talking to my sister last week, and I was expressing my exhaustion and anxiety. She reminded me that it is NOT the holidays. It is GRE prep, house-hunting prep, managing all of the household things alone (my guy has been gone almost the entire fall). The exhaustion comes from the fear of change and the managing of all of the emotions. Once again, it is not just the holidays. The holiday parties are on the surface, so I begin to think that they are making me exhausted, but it’s not them. As you are running around buying gifts, more ingredients for more cookies, another outfit for you or your kids to wear to the holiday party, you are adding in a lot of things that are not the norm. As fun as these things are, they are likely to cause a little stress, so this is where you have to consider setting some boundaries.

As we were chatting, she reminded me to quit saying, “yes” to all the things. “If it is not a 7.5 or higher – on a scale of 1-10 – it is a hard NO.” The next day, I sent her a message stating, “between now and Christmas, if it’s not a 9.5 or 10, it is a no.” She thought that was probably a pretty good idea.

What Gets a 9.5 or 10?

All of my current obligations get a 9.5. If I said I will be there, I will be there. I am very good at showing up, and I am a much more pleasant person if I show up with energy and a positive vibe. My dog gets a 10. He gets walks, a run, beach time, and snuggles every day. My family gets a 10, but all of their activities may not get the 10. I have to look at which activities really deserve a 10 and which may just be a 7. Right now, my writing gets a 10. I am doing this streak, and I refuse to quit. My GRE prep gets a 10. I have a study program, and it tells me how many hours I need to prepare. I don’t get to go to bed until I have done all of the lessons for the day. Those wellness activities that I listed get a 9.5. Doing them will give me the ENERGY to do all of the other things.

Suijin loves when we climb rocks, and he loves when we play on the beach I love climbing the rocks with him so it’s a win/win and an easy 10.

As I bring this blog to a close, I wonder if it is as grim as the weather is today. Do any of these things sound fun? Not really, BUT with so many OTHER FUN THINGS going on, we really DO need to double-down on the not-so-fun, not-so-glamorous stuff so that we can show up to the fun as our VERY BEST SELF.

This is me. This is me showing up to a social event earlier this week with a good attitude and high energy.

Published by mondaymorningwithmona

I am a Texan, runner, military spouse, reader, a giver and a good friend.

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