10 Healthy Habits for this Holiday Season & into 2023

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow podcast we are going to talk about 10 healthy habits to consider implementing now and continue with them into the new year, which is quickly approaching.  There is absolutely no need to wait until January 1 to start some minor or major ways to your lifestyle.

Now is the time to embrace a few healthy holiday habits to help you get through the weeks ahead feeling great and knowing that you are looking after yourself and your needs.

The holiday season is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ (as the famous song goes), but it can also be tiring, cause stress and overindulgence if we allow it to.  Prepare yourself for all the upcoming get-togethers, parties and buffets by establishing some healthy, sustainable holiday habits today.

Let’s start the festive season off prioritizing our own health and well-being.  And, if you’re not sure how to achieve this…I’ve got you covered with the following ideas on healthy habits you could start implementing today.
10 Healthy Habits to Implement This Season & Carry into 2023

#1: Make Movement a Priority

This is the first thing that gets postponed or missed – your workout.  With so many social obligations, it seems okay to skip your daily commitment to moving your body.

However, this is what you really need the most during the holiday season.  Fresh air, movement in whatever form you choose, sweating it out, skating, skiing, walking outdoors or a good gym session or maybe it is just slipping away from the crowds and doing an at-home stretching and yoga workout.

It is crucial for your mental and physical well-being to make regular movement a non-negotiable during your day.  You’ll feel so much better equipped to tackle the stress, hustle and bustle that the holidays sometimes throw at us. 

Be smart and get in your exercise first thing in the morning, if at all possible.  Then after dinner, get out in the fresh air again with a little digestive walk around town to admire the lights and decorations.

Dust off those skates and take to the ice or dig out the skis and hit the slopes.  No matter what form of movement you choose, it will help you cope much better with all that is going on during the holidays.

Commit to movement and make it one of your priorities!

#2: Stay Hydrated

The festive season offers quite an array of seasonal beverages, everything from hot mulled wine to fancy cocktails to traditional eggnog to creamy hot chocolate.  There always seems to be plenty of choices.

But keep in mind that these types of drinks are rich in calories, filled with sugar and alcohol can leave you feeling drained and sluggish after a while.

It’s time to make some healthier choices and limit your not-so-healthy beverages.  In order to resist temptation, I like to prepare my own drinks and take them along in my own travel mugs.  I prefer to make up peppermint tea and flavoured water – to make this I add freshly cut up cucumber and lemon to create a refreshing mocktail.  You could experiment with the tastes you prefer by adding mint and strawberries for a slightly different taste.  The possibilities are endless here.

One tip I implement at times is to have one big glass of water right beside a glass of wine.  For every sip of wine, I take an even bigger sip of water.  As you might have heard in some previous podcast episodes, I have cut back on my alcohol consumption significantly and I feel amazing because of it.  So, I don’t think this season will see me indulging in glasses of wine or other fancy cocktails too much.

Make it your mission to consume adequate amounts of water. In order to ensure you are indeed drinking enough, I suggest chugging a full glass of water before each meal. 

#3:  Get Enough Sleep – Seriously

We all know that the holiday season is quite exhausting for a myriad of reasons.  Our routines are different, our days are longer than usual, our minds are racing with all the things we have to do, even our nervous systems are on high alert.  So, getting a peaceful night’s rest can be quite difficult.

But now more than ever – getting adequate sleep is essential – for your energy levels, your mood and overall good feeling during these times.  Nobody wants to be irritable or over-tired when guests arrive.

Try to plan in a solid night’s sleep of at least 7 hours to ensure you feel well-rested and ready to take on whatever the holiday season brings.  You could even plan in the odd afternoon nap or two regardless whether you are a regular napper or not.  It might help rejuvenate you.

#4: Know Your Limits, Stay Within Them – Financially

If there’s one aspect that can quickly spiral out of control during the festive season, it’s your budget.

Splurging on gifts, spontaneous clothing purchases for those special occasions, extravagant food and drink at restaurants and for parties you throw can add up.  You might not notice it at the time but when your credit card statement arrives the following month, regrets could surface, and it’s too late to undo the damage then.

Set a strict budget and continuously monitor your spending.  This will help keep you on track and decrease stress as well as regret in January.
#5:  Begin a Journalling Practice

Journalling is a way to express yourself and your feelings to no one else but yourself.  It is a safe practice to let go of any long-harboured thoughts that are weighing down a bit heavily on you and your heart.

It is also a creative outlet for reflection on memories or losses of loved ones. Since the holiday season tends to evoke lots of emotions within us, keeping a journal can help you deal with some of the feelings that are rising to the surface.

The practice of journalling can be very beneficial in becoming clear on how you want to show up and how you want to navigate some tricky situations.

Start each day (and if time permits – end each day) with a few minutes of journalling.  Set an intention for the day in terms of how you would like to show up with and toward the people in your life, family, relatives and friends.  This simple habit could bring more joy and mindfulness to the holiday season within you.

#6: Do a Social Media Detox

For me, there’s nothing worse than sitting around a dinner table with friends and family only to see phones everywhere.  Not to mention, people using them to scroll or check their notifications when you are trying to have a meaningful conversation with them.

Be fully present for those near and dear to you this season by putting your phone away, out of reach for longer stretches of time.

Focus on people and make an earnst attempt to truly listen to them.  The greatest gift you can give another human is to listen wholeheartedly to what they are saying, not with the intent of chiming in but with the sole intent of listening to them.

While it is fun and exciting to check on what others are doing via social media, be thoughtful about how and when you’re using your phone.

Try to curb your usage to a minimum and show your loved ones that they matter to you.

#7: Say ‘No, Thanks’ to the Second Serving of Food

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges we have during the holiday season is overeating and overindulging in all the tasty treats that are on offer.  The temptation is real.

Most family functions, get-togethers, work and social events are centered around food and drink.  It is really difficult and for many of us, tricky to navigate, the sheer abundance of dishes, desserts and holiday cheer cocktails.  Keeping everything in moderation takes an immense amount of willpower.

So, to help curb your cravings and stay mindful of how much you are consuming you could implement the following strategies:

-> Drink lots of water – before the appetizers come out, prior to starting the main meal, before dessert is served.  Consuming water will make you feel more satisfied and full.
-> Don’t load up your plate full of everything on offer.  Try to just take small samples of all the things you’d like to eat.  That way you don’t have the feeling you are depriving yourself of the things you love, and you’ll considerably cut down on calories too.
-> Load up on the veggie dishes, Make sure your plate is mostly vegetables as opposed to stuffing and sweet side dishes.
-> Politely decline a second serving of food.  No one will be offended or upset if you say ‘no, thanks’.  Challenge yourself to no seconds whatsoever, and that’s applies to the desserts and cookies as well. Stay true to yourself and your healthy eating lifestyle. 

Become super intentional and mindful of what you are eating and how much food is on your plate.

You don’t have to be over-the-top strict or hard on yourself, but if you keep telling yourself ‘everything in moderation and no second helpings’ you will be able to stay on point this season and not be filled with regret due to your overindulgence after the meal.

#8:  Don’t Neglect Self-care

In Episode 30 I talked about self-care as an absolute necessity.  And, there’s no better time to start making time for some much-needed self-care than the holidays. 

While it might seem honourable to make everyone’s holiday season wonderful, memorable and outright awesome, it will likely come at the expense of your own needs.

Decide how you are going to intentionally carve out some time for yourself and do whatever makes you happy during this me time.  This is your reminder to slow down and relax in order to feel refreshed and energized again.

What this looks like is different for everybody.  Some quiet time reading, or enjoying a long bath with candles, going on a walk alone, or taking a quick nap are all ways to unplug – even just for a few minutes.

Find ways that bring you joy and will restore your energy as well as preserve your sanity.  It’s important because we all know – you can’t pour from an empty cup.

#9:  Get Comfortable with Saying “No” When Necessary!

Although I often categorize this habit as an act of self-care to be practiced year-round, this warrants mention as a point on its own for the holiday season.  Just remember, it is healthy to set limits on what you are willing to do and what you are not willing and available to do. 

Sometimes you feel pulled in all directions and it’s easy to become completely exhausted and feel overextended. 

If you fear this could happen (again) this season, aim to simplify things.  Don’t feel bad about having to decline invitations.  With a polite and respectful response, friends and family will understand.

There is no badge of honour for doing far too much and reaching your breaking point.

Be honest with yourself and avoid stressful, exhausting situations by simply saying “no” this year. You owe it to yourself.

#10:  Keep Track by Using a Planner or Calendar

This is fairly self explanatory.  For some, December can become a crazy busy month with a full schedule of parties, gatherings, events, etc.  If there was ever a time to start a planner, it’s likely now.  You wouldn’t want to miss or forget an important get-together and let’s face it, with your minds racing 100 miles a minute with preparations, it is easy to lose track of where you need to be and what you need to bring along.

Keeping track of all obligations as well as the critical details pertaining to these events in one place and referring to it daily, can be very helpful and will set your mind at ease.  It will definitely relieve a bit of the stress by knowing you are on top of everything for you and your family.

So, there you have it.
I’d love to know which of these healthy habits you will start implementing today?  Leave a comment and let me know.

If you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…
You are awesome! And I believe you in fully.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Xoxo Lisa



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