November 2023

Healthy Family Habits for the Holidays

Holiday season is here and whether you are the type who loves all of the seasonal celebrations or not, it’s a time to reflect and focus on wellness as the year comes to an end. The holidays tend to be filled with fun and family, yet can also be incredibly stressful and overindulgent for many.
Instead of waiting for the New Year to create some wellness goals, why not start now so you can enjoy the seasonal favorites without feeling crummy after.
One of the biggest calls I get as a health coach towards the end of December from people feeling awful in their skin and self-care has gone out the window, hoping to jump into action in the new year with resolutions.
Unfortunately, most new years resolutions fail by January 15th and people are left feeling frustrated and discouraged. We are creatures of habit and we act from behaviors that are comforting to our brain.
Raising awareness to these holiday behaviors can help us make simple shifts this year. Four holiday hacks you can use this season to avoid the stress of putting your health on the back burner are:

Be mindful with your food
Instead of grabbing at every holiday sweet, make a commitment to enjoy in smaller amounts (on average people gain up to 5lbs during the holidays)
Color your plate – just by raising awareness to your food you will make healthier choices
Pace yourself at parties, snack on healthy stuff first and drink 1 glass of water per cocktail
Create boundaries with your time
The holidays are a great time to say “NO” to the things you really don’t want to do- instead of feeling the pressure to do all the things, look at your calendar and pick and choose what you really want to do.
Carve out time to do the things that truly bring you joy with your family
Instead of getting sucked into the consumerism of holidays, lean into some of the healthier habits you enjoy with family and friends
Create your own family rituals which enhance bonding
If you have kids, this is a perfect time to create some of your own family holiday rituals – arts and crafts, baking or cooking together and embracing
Family fitness is a great way to burn off some of those extra holiday treats – it can be as simple as planning a daily walk with your family
Take time off electronics – cant stress this one enough, we are using electronics both adults and kids WAY more than we need to collectively and it is not good for our brain/body – come up with other activities you can do together this holiday season to bond and let go of the screens
Year end reflections
Take some time as we near the end of this year to reflect on 2023, what were some of your favorite memories, what were some challenges you faced. Celebrate where you are today and all that you have accomplished in 2023
Create some end of the year intentions – have your family participate with you to support each other in goals and staying healthy
Once again, holidays come with so much joy and happiness for many and also can be surrounded with lots of stress. Prepare yourself before the holiday’s hit so you can avoid some of the hooplah that can take away from the true meaning of holidays!
The holidays are traditionally about quality time with people we love, let’s remember WHY we are celebrating this holiday season and spread the love and cheer to those around us.

Holiday guide
Here is my holiday guide to NOT stuffing yourself this holiday season. After 15 years in the fitness industry, I see the same patterns repeated by those who want to feel better but struggle to shift habits before the new year. This guide will give you some tangible tools and action steps to stay healthier this holiday season.

By Jaime McFaden

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