Finding that Healthy Holiday Balance

The concept of "balance" this time of year is laughable. With competing priorities of school, work, holiday commitments and just finding time to yourself, is it really possible to have a healthy balance for the holiday season? In past years, I realized that I was starting to look to the period from just before Thanksgiving to New Year's with a sense of dread. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted just thinking about all of the demands on my time and responsibilities that would meet me.

This is NO way to live, so it's time to get mindful and get back to the magic of the season because it's still there! We just have to CHOOSE to see it. Below are a few of my key suggestions for holding onto your balance this year, and every year:

1. Workout - Make those sweat sessions a priority. Do what you need to do - prep the night before, cut down the length and complexity of your workouts (maybe try something at home) and make an effort to get moving every day, even if it's not high intensity.

2. SLEEP - I can't stress this one enough. It's actually OK to leave a party early, and to curtail those social media surfing sessions. If you are going to take care of yourself this season, this is the first step. Sleep deprivation leads to a heap of trouble, including lethargy, irritability and over-eating. If you are able to get to bed it!

3. Just Say No - The number of commitments during the holiday season can seem overwhelming. With volunteer, party and kids' events it's enough to make one's head spin. If you are looking to reduce your stress, you are going to have to say no sometimes. It's ok to choose simplicity over running around constantly this time of year. If you feel like you need to slow down, say no to something and give yourself a bit of a rest.

4. 80/20 Rule - When the urge to overeat rears its ugly head, simply ask yourself: do I really want to eat this, or am I simply thirsty, hungry for better nourishment or for something else besides food (a hug, great conversation, a warm bath and some quiet time)? If you still feel like you really want that treat, then have it without reservations and enjoy every last bite. Food isn't the enemy. Keep healthy snacks on hand and limit the amount of sugar and cookies that you have in the house! It's not as much of a temptation if they just aren't there. Also, many of us drink the drinks this time of year. Try drinking one glass of water for every glass of alcohol. It will slow you down AND hydrate you at the same time!

5. Gratitude - Finally, come from a place of gratitude. Whether you journal, or express this by gifting, this is the time of year to remember those less fortunate. There is no faster way to happiness than to count your blessings, and shine your light on others who just may desperately need it this season,

I hope these quick tips enable YOU to have your best holiday season yet. If you'd like some extra help, feel free to sign up for my next challenge group here:

PS: Don't think I'm forgetting about Thanksgiving! I'm working on my meal planning now and will be hosting again. I'll be using very much the same menu as last year, just to keep it simple!