Yes, balance! What exactly does ‘balance’ mean? It’s a popular buzzword, and for good reason! We are told to balance our careers and personal lives, we are taught to balance chemistry equations in school, but rarely do we emphasize balance in our bodies. In our current society, we are frequently being sold restrictive, extreme diets and lifestyles – many of which are not sustainable through the holiday season where luxe dinner parties and Christmas cookies are abundant. So, what are we to do during this time of year where time is short, and indulgence is plentiful? Read on to hear our top tips on embracing balance this holiday season.
What exactly does balance look like?
This may be obvious, but balance looks different for everyone. To one person, having a balanced lifestyle means going for a 30-minute run every morning so they can have whatever they want for dessert. To another person, it may mean consistently eating a clean diet because they know they are not able to fit regular exercise into their weekly routine. The point of this article is not to tell you exactly what your perfect version of balance is, it’s to give you some guidelines for maintaining a sustainable wellness journey.
Maintaining balance over the holidays
Part of balance is to accept our choices during the holidays may deviate from our normal schedules. We may be traveling more, having irregular sleep patterns, drinking more alcohol, exercising less, and eating more unhealthy foods. This does not mean we have to completely throw our healthy lifestyles out the window! It may just mean taking on a different approach than the rest of the year. Here are some ideas:
1. Do what you can when you can
Our best health and wellness lifestyle fluctuates throughout the various parts of the year; we put an emphasis on best, not optimum – because your optimum lifestyle is not always maintainable 365 days per year. Are you able to squeeze in a workout one morning when you know you won’t be able to for the rest of the week? Get it in while you know you can and accept it as okay for today. Are you trying to decide between making a healthy dinner or getting takeout when you know you will be having Christmas cookies at work tomorrow? Make a healthy dinner while you can.
Many people take an all or nothing approach to their wellness. When in reality our small, daily, micro-decisions are what make up the foundation of our wellness lifestyle.
2. Don’t stress
Yes, we know this is way easier said than done. If you are debating eating that Christmas cookie or not, think of the response you are causing in your body. When we are stressed, our heart starts to beat faster, our body starts to produce more stress hormones, and our muscles tense. All over just thinking about eating a holiday cookie!
The stress of eating that holiday cookie will be way more damaging to your body than the cookie itself. Therefore, enjoy your holiday treats in moderation, but be mindful of the stress of that decision will have on your body and let it go.
3. Consider adding a supplement
A few different supplements can aid in maintaining balance when our bodies need a little extra support. The holidays are the perfect time to add in a supplement like CBD, which helps maintain homeostasis in our bodies. You can take CBD in a tincture in the morning, or add it to a CBD latte to get your body started off on the right foot before a full day of festivities. Another great addition would be to add in some adaptogens, which also aid in helping our bodies ‘adapt’ to any stressors – which are especially abundant during the holidays. Try adding maca powder or Chaga mushroom powder to your morning latte or smoothie!
4. Adopt a mindfulness practice
Mindfulness does not have to look like a 20-minute cross-legged meditation in a yoga studio. Mindfulness can be as simple as taking the time to sit with your meals without the distraction of your phone. Challenge yourself to be fully present at your meals – enjoying precious time with family members and loved ones during the holiday season.
5. Fill up on nutrient-dense foods first
Challenge yourself to fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods in your first meal of the day. Fill up your plate or bowl with veggies, complex carbohydrates, protein, and a healthy source of fats. No matter what the rest of your day looks like, you can feel good knowing you made at least one healthy, balanced meal for yourself.
6. Seek professional help if you’re still struggling
There is a difference between the winter blues and serious anxiety or depression. If you think you are struggling with one of these issues, talk to a trusted friend or a medical professional about getting help. The holidays can be a very stressful time, but that doesn’t mean your mental health has to take the back seat. Balance means reaching out for help when necessary!
We hope some of these tips were helpful when it comes to embracing balance over the holidays. For many, the holidays can be a stressful time – we want to empower and support your wellness lifestyle throughout the entire year. Do you have any of your own tips to share? We’d love to hear them!
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