The first in a 5-part series, Hum Beauty’s Jessica Bippen, MS, RD, shares a few simple suggestions on how keep the focus on YOUR well being this holiday, and into the new year…
Without warning, as it normally does, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has descended. Days feel short and our to-do lists are long. We’re over-scheduled and overwhelmed, but somehow we keep saying “yes!” The holiday guilt is real, am I right?!
With the busyness of the season, our own health often takes a back seat as we focus on others, which takes a toll on our physical and mental stability. By the time the New Year arrives, we might be wallowing in guilt about how we let ourselves go and maybe the next diet trend or detox will bring us right round.
But there’s a better way! What if you made an effort to put yourself first this holiday season? What if it was possible to prioritize your health and still enjoy the festivities?
Use this checklist as your guide to stay physically and mentally charged throughout this holiday season. You’ll be surprised by how much the little things add up, resulting in what just might be your healthiest holiday yet!
Plan and prep. The food you eat directly affects how you feel. Taking the time to plan ahead and take an hour or two on Sunday to prep for the week will help makes it easy for you to nourish yourself daily with healthy food.
Get in those greens! Kale, spinach and chard are not only in season right now, but very nutrient-dense. Meaning you get more bang for your buck! Greens provide liver support by detoxifying and promoting natural cleansing. This is especially helpful this time of year when you might have an extra cocktail or two! Plus, greens are especially high in fiber which can help keep your digestive system happy.
Enjoy the cookie. Often times, our favorite holiday traditions and celebrations revolve around dinner or a special dessert. You shouldn’t feel like you have to slap your hand away every time you’re tempted by a treat. Maintaining a rigid diet can often backfire and result in binging on an entire PLATE of sugar cookies. Enjoying the cookie is far better for your health than stressing out about it.
Find movement every day. Colder weather lulls us to grab the fuzzy socks and cozy up by the fire. But don’t forget — our bodies were meant to move! Make an effort to rack up those steps. Bundle up and go for a walk, sign up for exercise classes a week in advance, or take date night to the ice skating rink!
Try something new! Sign up for that barre class you’ve been dying to try, or the spin class everyone is raving about. This is a perfect time to get out of your box and try something new. An exercise routine is easier to stick to when you are actually enjoying what you are doing. Plus, changing things up surprises your body and challenges it in different ways.
Practice gratitude. Creating a gratitude practice is one of the simplest ways to create a more joyful and positive mindset. Focusing on those things for which you are thankful shifts the way you think and puts things into perspective. Take 5 minutes — when you get up or before you go to bed — to write down three (or more!) things you are happy for.
Meditate for 20 minutes daily. Along with the holiday season comes stress. It’s inevitable during this busy season. However, it’s how we handle the stress that makes all the difference. Taking 20 minutes per day to meditate can do wonders for your mental state and overall sense of calm. If you are new to meditating, start with 5 minutes. Using an app like CALM can help get you started.
Turn off and tune in. Your presence is the ultimate gift. When you are with friends and family, put your phone away or silence it. Memories are made when you are engaging in conversations and spending quality time with the ones you love, not through your phone screen.
Give yourself permission to say no. If it’s not a “heck, yes!” then it’s a “no.” And that is okay! Overcommitting yourself and saying yes to things that don’t light you up inside only leaves you drained and stressed out to the max. Let this be permission for you to only commit to things that YOU want this holiday season.
Let go of perfection! Stop trying to be perfect. Easier said than done, I know. Letting go of the need to be perfect allows you to be more flexible and less stressed. It’s okay if you have the extra cookie. It’s ok if the rugs aren’t vacuumed before the party. Letting go of perfection doesn’t mean getting rid of your standards — instead it means giving yourself grace and not beating yourself up if things don’t go exactly as planned.
Jessica Bippen, MS, RD, is a HUM Nutrition Beauty Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian. Jessica aids individuals in uncovering beauty from within by prescribing optimal nutrition and supplements. She is the founder of Nourished by Nutrition, and through her wellness website and private practice she works to uncover their forever wellness.
+ Stay tuned each Monday in December for more holiday checklist info!