Shake Off Those Holiday Blues!

It’s easy for many people to fall into a rut over the end-of-year holiday season. It’s normal for people to feel sad around the holidays. While loving and happy memories are often part of our yearly traditions, it’s also easy for people to dwell on negativity and become sad thinking about things in our past that we can’t change.

Keeping the Blues at Bay

One good tip for keeping the blues at bay this holiday season is to focus on what you can change in your life. If you notice yourself ruminating on the past, ask yourself, is this something that is under my control? While we are in control of our own behavior and our future, we are not in control of our past and we are not in control of what other people think or do.

It’s easy to overstress ourselves during the holiday season. Keeping our thoughts positive and focused on our own behavior is one great way to avoid bad decisions that can work against our health and fitness goals.

Write it Down

Before you have that extra piece of dessert or an extra slice of turkey with gravy, take a moment to write down some positive New Year’s resolutions that you can achieve. Planning for the future keeps us thinking about tomorrow and not dwelling on the past. It’s also fun to think about our future selves and what goals we want to achieve.

Keep your resolutions measurable and achievable. For example, the resolution of, “I will exercise as much as I can every day” is not readily measurable or achievable.

A better goal would be, “I will walk at least 10,000 steps per day. If I fail to walk 10,000 steps in a day, I will write down the number of steps I owe and make that amount up by the end of the week.” The difference is that in the second form of our activity goal, the goal is not only measurable but it is quite achievable.

Have a Back-Up Plan

Having a back-up plan for your holiday season is advisable as well to stay positively focused through the holiday season. For those times you just don’t feel like getting out of bed and exercising, or even those holiday encounters with family members or relatives you would rather not visit with, it is good to have a plan in place for when things start to go off the rails.

One piece of advice is to set some personal boundaries before a visit. For example, if you tend to argue with one relative, let them know you will just be stopping by for a brief period of time as you have another engagement.

Or, if traveling with family, let them know you are working on a project and you will need private time during your visit. Projects could be researching colleges, studying for your PSAT or SAT, or just brushing up on your basic studies as you prepare for the next school year.

Schedule “Me Time”

Planning activities that uplift you and/or provide for personal space is another great coping mechanism if things start to turn south this holiday season. Plan to have a phone call with a distant friend at some point during your holiday break, or perhaps it’s time to read that novel you’ve been putting off for so long. Taking an extra yoga trap class or treating yourself to a makeover or clothes shopping can help lift our spirits.

It’s easy to get stuck in the house and overeat during the holidays. Make sure you have a plan for staying fit this holiday season and focus on yourself and what you can change. Before you know it the holiday season will be over and it will be back to business as usual. You’ll look back at this time and think, how did I take advantage of my free time this winter break? Did I stick with my plan for Fitness and Nutrition or did I let myself go?

While we cannot control how extended family or friends treat us this holiday season, we can control what we do. So let’s make the best of plans to treat ourselves right this holiday season.