It’s that time of year again. The weather has turned a tad chilly, the leaves are turning a beautiful color, and all you ladies are busting out your scarves and boots. You know who you are. While we don’t exactly get to relish weather extremes here in California, we all still do our best to embrace the changing seasons with our pumpkin decorations, our winter coats, and our peppermint hot chocolates. The malls have already hung their decorations and there are a few radio stations that have skipped Thanksgiving and started their Christmas music just a bit too early. Ah, fall has arrived.
As we head into what is normally thought of as a season of family and cherished memories, we begin our scuffles with maintaining our sanity, priorities and of course, our girlish figures (get thee behind thee, chocolate sweets!). How is anyone supposed to survive the holidays? Hopefully with a little grace and some observance to the tips below, we can all make the best of this upcoming season
1. First and foremost, be thankful.
It sounds so obvious, yet we all fall victim to our discontentment. It’s easy to see be frustrated with annoying family members and plans that just don’t go the way we want. The holidays tend to bring out some of our strongest emotions. But dwelling on what is not, instead of what is will not get us far. Oprah Winfrey has said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
2. Don’t neglect your exercise.
It’s oh so tempting to slough off your weekly workouts for holiday parties and what you think is time to “rejuvenate” at home. The truth is exercise can actually help you relax even more than hanging out on the couch and catching up on your TiVo. You can work off stress, excess energy and hopefully a few pounds while you’re at it. So hit up your Pilates class now, and hit up the couch later (if at all).
3. Watch out for holiday food.
Unless you want to add another hour on the elliptical machine, stay clear of too many helpings of those deviled eggs. You’ve heard of the saying, “if it tastes good, spit it out.” While it boasts the truth of tasty food being oh so fatty, it’s also a recipe for disaster. Enjoy your holiday eggnog- just not too much. You’ll be less likely to gorge yourself if you allow the occasional pumpkin cheesecake instead of steering clear all together (and who can say no to cheesecake anyways?!).
4. If you find yourself feeling lonely, even in the midst of so many relatives and holiday parties, get warm.
In a recent study by Yale University, it was determined that our physical temperature and our ability to feel connected to others “both register in the same part of the brain and often become linked… Plus we associate warmth with the love and security we experienced during childhood” (Fitness Magazine, November/December 2011). As if you needed an excuse to grab that holiday latte, enveloping yourself in the warmth of a blanket or sweater now takes on a whole new meaning.
5. Celebrate the season.
The holidays are upon us, there’s no denying it. Put on your Charlie Brown Christmas CD and be ready for the memories and blessings that grace us this season. This season can be whatever you make it. Why not the best?
Author: Karly Wood