How To Survive The Holidays: 6 Tips To Help You Check Yourself

The last few weeks of the year are upon us and for many it’s an extremely busy time. Between the year end activities, holiday parties, events, shopping and festivities, it is very tempting, and often easy to let some of those healthy habits go.

One missed workout turns into 30.

Missed meals become a thing to make way for all the work holiday treats.

You go HAM (hard as mother$#@!er) at every single feast and gathering you attend.

Sleep becomes a concept. 

Anxiety rises thinking of all you have to do before the year ends.

I don’t know about you, but for me, doing so for too long and with complete abandon – I call it the the awwf%#!it effect  never works out really well.

Come January morning, hitting that restart button is hard.

Like, really really hard!

It’s like trying to pull myself out of quicksand mud, if there is such a thing, or waking up from a really bad hangover! Ughh!

So to avoid that kind of suffering come new year’s, I’ve compiled a few tips to help check myself throughout the holidays. If you can relate, then this is for you too.

Tip # 1 – Get In 10 Minutes of Vigorous Exercise Each Day

Whether its a short run, or doing bodyweight movements in your bedroom before you head out the door, a 10 minute workout (as I found out this summer) is enough to keep your fitness in check.

Don’t have time in the morning? Try to get it in during your lunch break instead – squats at your desk anyone? Or better yet accumulate the 10 mins of work throughout the day.

If there is time for more, make use of it, but usually 10 minutes is sufficient to get the mind clear, put you in a happy mood and give you energy to last the whole day.

Check out this post for a quick ‘anywhere’ workout.

Tip #2 – Always Eat a Meal or Mini Meal Before Leaving Home or Traveling

Whether you are going to the grocery store, your friendsgiving dinner or work, filling your stomach (to satiety rather than stuffed) prior to leaving home is a great way to minimize mindless eating, over eating and crappy snacking.

Here you want to think whole foods and balanced (i.e. fresh and protein-carbs-fats-minerals filled) meals rather than processed and convenient (i.e. packaged and artificially laden). And don’t forget your water.

Meals like this are nutrient dense and include things like a chicken salad with fruit, a fish sandwich with iced tea or a protein smoothie.

Tip # 3 – Use Your Hands For Portion Control

Unless you are dining out, a great way to stay in control of your portions is to use your hand to measure your food.

It is unique to you and correlates specifically to your body size. That means it is fit for you. 

Best of all, it goes wherever you go.

To measure food generally, men should use 2, while women use 1 of each of the following:

  • palms for protein
  • fists for veggies
  • cupped hands for carbs
  • thumb length for fats

If you are unable to separate foods like outlined above, say at a potluck or family dinner, a good rule of thumb is to use a small plate and eat really slowly.

You get to enjoy a little of everything, will feel satisfied (when you eat slow) and removes feelings of guilt and deprivation.

Tip #4 – Take A 5…Often

If you have kids or are constantly surrounded by people, either demanding things of you or needing you in some way, it’s understandable that you may get overwhelmed or a bit stressed.

Try what the pantry mom did (her video went viral), take a 5…in your pantry if you have one that big or any room/space you can close yourself off.

It doesn’t matter what you use that 5 minutes for, what matters is that in that time you carve out some me time.

It may not seem like much by way of a reprieve but if you manage to do that a few times throughout the day, that’s a nice size chunk of time you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to get all at once.

Tip #5 – Mind Your Own Business

It’s the time when family and friends get together. That means lots of inquiries and butting into lives under the guise of care and concern.

As fair and expected as that is, what others are doing with their lives is never really your business.

How they choose to eat, do fitness, celebrate or not celebrate the holidays or show up in the world is not for you to decide or force your opinions on.

What is and should always be your concern is how YOU choose to live.

That simply means taking care of you [and your family] as you see fit, speaking up when someone tries to shame or bully you into their way of doing things and being ok with your decisions.

Focus less on theirs, tend to yours and watch how it frees you up to truly enjoy the season.

Tip #6 – Practice Gratitude By Giving Something Away

It’s easy to get caught up during the holidays with thoughts of all that we lack and believe we need, be it possessions, position or people.

As a result, much of our holiday stress stems from trying to acquire them.

Take the focus from yourself this year by either giving away your time or resources to someone else without expecting anything in return.

Think about volunteering at a community center, an after school program, a church homeless feeding program, or a girl’s and boys home.

You get to see gratitude at work, feel good about yourself and appreciate your life for what it is.


What tips have you implemented to get you through the holiday season? We would love to hear!

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