As we head into Thanksgiving (followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and all of the extras of the season), and shortly after, right into Christmas and a new year, you might feel a tad overwhelmed with your endless to-do lists and social commitments. The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ could quickly turn into feeling like the most demanding time of the year. Instead of letting the stress and worry of the holiday bustle steal your joy over the next couple of months, try setting aside some time for you. You can’t pour from an empty cup; fill yours back up with the following five tips to dodge holiday setbacks.
- Don’t Submit to Holiday Weight Gain
November and December are traditionally filled with endless noshing. From cookies and cakes, to pies, and other decadent desserts, to fat- and calorie-filled snacks and refreshments, it can be easy to stack on extra pounds. The solution? Plan, plan, plan! The one thing we can always count on is the fact that these savory eats and beverages will always be in abundance at this time of year.
To avoid letting weight gain sneak up on you, try planning out your days in advance to accommodate for the extra treats you may want to indulge in. For instance, if you know you are going to eat a piece of apple pie with ice cream after dinner, try calculating its macronutrients (calories, fat, carbs, and protein) ahead of time, so that you can cut back in your daily consumption. This way, you won’t feel so guilty indulging, and you will be more in control of your diet. Be sure to limit your holiday treats to reasonably sized portions, and try not to eat them every day.
Another tip…when in the office or at a social gathering, keep an eye on how many finger foods and sugary drinks you are consuming. It can be easy, especially when you are hungry, to fill your party plate up with empty calories. This comes back to planning; if you know you are going to be at an event, try eating a healthy light bite just before, so you aren’t in a vulnerable position when you arrive to your destination.
We also suggest you continue an exercise regimen during the holidays. Even though you may feel extra tired or stressed, it is important to keep this part of your schedule intact. Try setting a daily alarm or writing an appointment in your calendar as a promise to yourself. Even a walk for a half-hour after dinner can benefit both your health and physique.
- Get Quality Sleep
Holiday shopping, family gatherings, travel, decorating, cooking and cleaning can leave you feeling depleted. You may find yourself going to bed much later and waking up earlier than you normally do during this time of year. Add up all of the lost sleep and the extra running around, and soon you may find yourself feeling lethargic, irritable and groggy. One of the most important things you can do to ward off weight gain and bad habits is to get a good night’s rest. According to ScienceDirect, adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
By not getting enough sleep, you may experience a decline in:
- Cognitive function
- Immune system function
- Ability to control appetite and weight
- Mood stability
Not enough ZZZ’s can also lead to dull skin, dark undereye circles, and a less youthful appearance.
Making quality sleep a priority is a must for good overall health and wellbeing. If you have trouble falling asleep, there are many remedies that may help. Try taking a warm bath with essential oils, stretching, listening to calming music or meditating to distract yourself from the stress of the day. Your body and your mind will absolutely thank you for getting the right amount of sleep!
- Treat Your Skin
Dry and cold weather, indoor heat, and lower humidity levels can often cause your skin to suffer. You may find that the skincare regimen you used earlier in the year no longer works. That’s because your skin changes during the fall and winter to accommodate for the lower moisture levels in the atmosphere. To revive your skin, be sure to use a gentle daily exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells and encourage new cell turnover. This includes on your face, and other problematic areas including your knees, feet, elbows, and hands. Investing in an age-defying moisturizer for both day and night for your specific skin type will also aid in keeping your skin refreshed during the winter. Protect your lips from cracking or chapping by applying a hydrating lip mask, followed by a moisturizing balm. If you want an extra glow for the holidays, consider receiving a facial treatment from CHC Medical Weight Loss and Spa. We offer facials, peels, skin resurfacing, microneedling, and an array of other treatments to repair and restore your skin. We also sell Clarity RX, which is our recommended brand of therapeutic products to nourish skin.
- Strike Out Stress
If you’re looking to make it out of the holiday season in good spirits (both mentally and physically), you are going to need to follow some stress survival strategies. Here’s our top quick picks for easing the pressures over the next couple of months.
- Take time to pamper yourself, whether with a pedicure to soothe aching feet, a facial treatment to revive drab skin, or a body massage to relieve tension.
- Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Participate in regular exercise. A daily walk is a good start if you don’t know where to begin.
- Say “no” more; don’t overcommit to social gatherings so you are able to leave some time for you.
- Schedule down time to unplug and unwind. Leave the phone behind and read a book, watch a movie, or take a needed nap.
- Create and stick to a daily routine.
- Start new, simple traditions and leave the overwhelming ones in the past.
- Volunteer for something you are passionate about.
- Schedule a date night with your partner and catch up on conversation.
- Listen to your favorite music to increase mindfulness.
- Plan a getaway.
- Focus on positivity and keep an optimistic outlook.
If you find it hard to quiet your mind and release your anxieties, you may want to consider talking to a licensed professional like a therapist or a mental health counselor. There is great power in quieting your mind from negativity and replacing it with all things jolly.
- Enjoy the Little Things
Part of finding joy in the midst of chaos is taking a timeout to stop and smell the roses. If you’re always on the go and never take a moment to breathe, it may be hard to dodge any holiday setbacks in the first place. By constantly keeping your foot on the gas pedal, you are inviting things like stress, weight gain, lackluster skin, and poor sleep into your life. It’s time to let go and stop obsessing over ‘doing it all.’ There will always be another time for doing laundry, cleaning the house, or unpacking the dishwasher. Instead of sweating the small stuff, make time for the things that matter most to you. Go for a walk, spend time outdoors, cuddle up by the fire, spend time with loved ones…whatever you decide to do, make sure you enjoy yourself, and be sure to laugh often!
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love and fond new memories made. However you celebrate, we hope you will take a little time to treat yourself with some TLC, so that you can keep putting your best foot forward.
Need Our Help?
At CHC Medical Weight Loss and Spa, we provide medical weight loss services, skincare treatments, body sculpting and hormone therapy. Our treatment consultants and team of medical professionals can give you all the details you need to make an informed decision about trying any of our successful plans or services. Whatever your goals are, we proudly offer the latest technological options to help you reach them. Be proactive, take control of your health, and contact us today at 813-915-8666 to discuss your best lifestyle plan.