Seven Wellness Professionals weigh-in on making it through the holiday season.
Each of the following wellness professionals have previously been featured here on the DailyUV. Click on their names to read more about them.
- Never go to a holiday party hungry! I always make sure I eat something(usually some protein and fat) before hitting a holiday party. This ensures that I don't have a drink(or 2) on an empty stomach which sometimes leads to poor nutrition choices.
- Use a small plate - I use a small plate for most meals but at parties I find it even more important to do so. I can take a couple things that look really yummy without taking too much which usually leads to eating too much.
- Exercise! It's not only important for controlling calories but its also important for reducing stress. 2 hours a week can make a difference so don't think you have to workout 4-6 hours a week to benefit from it.
More about Jamie: www.kdrfitness.com
Amy Fortier, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor at the River Valley Club
- Don’t be afraid to say no - to events, to food, to watching the news, to gift swaps, to decorating, to travel, to uncomfortable party clothing, to late nights, and to anything else that comes at you.
- Good enough is good enough. There is no right way to do all the things the holidays make you feel like you need to do. Perfection is impossible - from trimming the tree to dealing with in-laws, do what works for you and get out of the way of what works for others.
More about Amy: AmyFortier.com
Kelly Hawes (and Izzy)
Kelly Hawes, Owner of Body Wisdom Therapeutic Massage in Lebanon
- Keep it simple, take time to enjoy the little things. Volunteer to help at a food bank. Snowy walks, tea or hot cocoa with friends, build snow forts with the kids.
- Remember the magic of the season.
More about Kelly: Body Wisdom Therapeutic Massage, 1 School Street, Lebanon, NH 03766, Open Wednesday - Sunday, 603-448-0033, Body Wisdom Therapeutic Massage
Jennifer Karr, Master Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor at the River Valley Club
There will be SO many treats and unhealthy offerings gifted to you and at your fingertips as you embark on the holiday season. There are two major mindset mistakes I attempt to deter my clients from:
- “It’s a holiday and it’s only one day so I am going to go crazy and eat anything and stuff myself.” I would actually agree that you should celebrate all you are thankful for and enjoy PORTIONS of your favorite foods and indulgences. Just know when to draw the line and limit portions. A taste of something amazing (and not necessarily healthy) is usually enough. Your metabolism will thank you!
- “I was really bad at our Company Holiday party because there was nothing healthy to eat so I ate what they had.” This is simple if you are not comfortable schlepping your own food. Eat at home before the party. Oh, and don’t stress or feel guilty about it. Tomorrow is another day!
More about Jen: Instagram: @JKFit1
Sue Kirincich, Yoga Instructor
"Seek Quiet" - My experience is that the December holidays can be a very busy and extroverted time. Give yourself the chance to experience quiet. My favorite ways to do this are:
- On the yoga mat, either in a class or at home - one of the most profound benefits of yoga comes from slowing down, breathing more deeply, and becoming attentive to the present moment. This is where the nervous system shifts from stress toward restoration and quiet.
- In the woods - the Japanese have long recognized the practice of "forest bathing." Research shows that being in nature has a profoundly quieting effect on the nervous system.
- Underwater - I love to swim. Being underwater is a wonderful sensory experience. I find it calming for the sense organs - sound, sight and touch - all of which can be bombarded by the busyness of the holiday season.
More about Sue: sueyoga.com
My one nutrition trip to survive the holiday without sacrifice is to plan ahead by having a general idea for what you’ll be eating, drinking, and doing before you head out the door. My main goal no matter what is to stick with whole or minimally process foods and stay away from the processed ones. This rule of thumb will serve you well at parties, family meals, restaurants, or during the in between time. You’ll be consuming more of the good stuff like vegetables, fruits, legumes or beans, whole grains, and lean proteins versus the chips, dips, and candy (a.k.a unhealthy fat, salt, and sugar). Indulge in one dessert that you will truly enjoy and eat it with mindfulness and attention.
Lynne Walker, Owner of Women's Muscular Wellness in Norwich, VT
Surviving the holidays has always been a struggle for me, even though I love the festive season and parties! Having food allergies and intolerances initially made it tougher, but over the years it has actually made things much easier. Because there are a lot of foods I need to avoid, I always eat before an event, or take something that I know I can tolerate. Then I avoid eating too many calories in general, including sweets, which are abundant at this time of year. I allow myself a couple of treats that I know I can tolerate and drink lots of water!
The real issue for me during holiday time is over-scheduling, stress, and getting overtired. Then I start missing workouts or postponing selfcare, which is really what I need during this season! So my advice is to create a non-negotiable schedule during the holiday season that includes exercise, meditative time, mornings to sleep in, and creative play time to restore energy. If I know I have a late night out, I don't schedule an early morning meeting or appointment the next day. I may schedule longer breaks in the day, or a nap, or a walk around the building between clients.
The other thing that frequently comes up this time of year is toxic energy from other people that you can't avoid. Office parties or family get togethers can be dreaded events for some people. I try to make sure that I am rested, in a positive mood, and hold the intention that I am going to stay positive no matter what happens. Then, avoid situations that are uncomfortable by leaving the room or letting someone know that the topic is off the table for the evening. If I need to get away mid-event, I go into another room (the bathroom always works if nothing else is available) and center myself in whatever way works best - taking deep breaths, moving (if the room is big enough), or just thinking about something that makes you really happy. Then return to the party and find someone who is smiling to talk to. Or even better, put on some music and get everyone to dance!!
More about Lynne: Women's Muscular Wellness