The holidays are upon us. While it’s easy to rush around, wear yourself down, and forgo taking care of your body, this doesn’t have to be your mode of operations this time of year. Here are five simple practices to help you stay healthy and keep sane through what I’ll refer to as the holiday hustle. Because ain’t nobody got time to be down and out.
1. Eat Well
I’m a firm believer that staying healthy begins in the kitchen. Eating well is crucial to keeping strong and fueling your body with the elements it needs to prosper. In a post I wrote for Women’s Running Magazine, I noted seven plant-based foods I recommend getting your fill of this season: sweet potatoes, winter squash, quinoa, lentils, beets, greens, and citrus, plus some tips to help you spice up your meals with healthy extras.
Read Women’s Running Feature Here: “7 Plant-Based Foods That Boost Your Immune System”
2. Take Your Vitamins
While I don’t take my vitamins every day (still working on this), here’s a snapshot of what I do try and take somewhat regularly. Attention: Pill containers aren’t just for old folks, they’re for the forgetful.
Maintenance + Wellness: Wellness Formula, Women’s Multivitamin
Pain Relief + Antiinflammatory: Curcumin (active ingredient in turmeric), Boswellia Extract
Energy + Vitality: Vitamin B, Calcium + Magnesium
Essential Oils + Herbal Remedies: I use a couple of custom Young Living mixtures for allergies and sinuses, plus DoTerra’s Breathe and On Guard. To help stay calm, I use DoTerra’s Lavender and Serenity. When I start to feel a cold coming on, or my head or chest feels congested, I turn to the following herbal remedies: Throat Coat Tea, saline nasal spray, ACF Fast Relief, and Herbal Expec.
TIP: If your body is hypersensitive like mine, be sure you have enough food in your system before taking any vitamin or supplement. And only take one at a time, gradually building up as you assess your body’s reaction.
3. Work Up A Sweat
Resolving to be more active in the new year is a positive goal. Getting out there and working up a sweat now, before the end of the year is even better. Work up a sweat to detoxify your body, release nervous energy and tension, strengthen your muscles, clear your mind, and build your endurance. Despite how busy this time of year can seem, time spent moving your body is time well spent.
Fall Running Essentials (pictured): Flow tights, Bolt Armwarmers, and Flyte Tank by Oiselle.
Attention Runners: For those current or aspiring runners who have racing or mileage goals set for the new year, I say, start training now! Andrew and I are currently running our way through my base training plan, then building up to half marathon training together. Our goal race—New Orleans Rock n’ Roll half marathon (Andrew’s first half!).
4. Chill Out
Even for the most well-meaning of souls, it’s easy to get caught up in the mad dash to the end of the year. It’s no secret stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, raises our cortisol levels, and sucks our energy, leaving us feeling depleted with our immune defenses down.
Whether it’s meditating, reading, taking a warm bath, practicing yoga with a friend, sitting and writing at a park, listening to soothing music, or going on a walking adventure with your dog, find what chills you out and removes you from any feelings of stress, and fully embrace it.
5. Rest Up + Unplug
Rest isn’t just about the number of hours you sleep each night. Sure that’s part of it. The rest is tied to your ability to shut down your mind and truly find some peace. If you find yourself torn between social time and resting and are already fighting exhaustion, give yourself a break, politely decline, and choose rest.
If you’ve mastered resting, try unplugging. Unplugging is a form of rest most of us don’t regularly experience, but it is more crucial to our mental health than you might realize. Not only does technology demand our attention, it can zap our creativity, negatively affect our psyche, and give us new things to worry about that we might not otherwise be bothered by. Technology even has the power to rewire our brains and drive us crazy if we don’t take time to completely remove ourselves from its reach. Power down every now and then.
What are we so afraid of missing?
There you have it. Consider these tips reminders to revisit between now and December 31, or come mid-January when you’re asking yourself how the year is already moving too fast for its own good.
Above all, remember to go easy on yourself this season. You’re not a superhero, nor are you super human. Don’t just know your limits. Respect them—during the holidays and always.
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