The Filipino culture is one that is so festive we begin to celebrate the Holidays as early as September each year. But while there is much excitement in all the preparations, shopping and social gatherings, we can’t help but feel worn out and stressed upon entering the New Year. Here are five ways to bounce back easily so your health resolutions don’t get thrown out the door too early.
- Reset Your Body Clock. Number one on the list of what the Holiday season brings us is a series of late nights. From being stuck in traffic during rush hours in the evening, to attending one party to another, to spending precious time with your family for the traditional Noche Buena and Media Noche, sleep will surely be compromised. If you find it difficult to get some shut-eye on your usual bedtime, wake up earlier the next morning and hit the sack at the same time the next night. Train your body to reset its clock and to recognize that it’s back to regular programming. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep (no more, no less) to give your body enough time to recover without feeling groggy the next morning.
- Ease in to Movement. If you put training and workouts on hold, don’t put off another day. No matter how stressful the season gets for you, movement should still be part of your routine. My advice? Take it easy especially during the crazy season. You will be tempted to train longer and harder to make up for all those nights eating, drinking and partying but when you are in a state of stress and the body hasn’t recovered, it becomes counterproductive. Take a yoga or Pilates class or go for a 45 minute walk in the morning to keep your hormones in check and help keep off that feeling of bloatedness. After the Holidays, restart with a low intensity workout build up as you feel your energy come back. It helps to listen to your body but at the same time keep in mind that you can’t skip your workouts just because you’ve fallen off the wagon.
- Take Ten Every Morning. I think goal setting is not something you do just at the beginning of the year. It’s a helpful habit to establish at the beginning of the day to help you become more focused at the tasks at hand. Taking at least ten minutes every morning to sort out your thoughts and perhaps write your task list allows you to slow down and be present. I like to have slow mornings but I can’t do that when my mind is crammed with things I try to remember to do for the day. The idea of meditation has thrown people off, who wants to sit and do nothing when there’s so much that needs to be accomplished and in so little time? I found that the practice of slowing down leads to stillness and stillness leads to meditation. That’s a good place to start.
- Cut Back on the Indulgences. Leftovers from the Christmas or NYE? Yes, it would be a waste to throw them out, but you don’t have to finish it all yourself. We make very indulgent food as part of the celebrations. From all sorts of salads that are too high in fat and sugar, to the richest meat dishes. It helps to remind ourselves to have less and less of these after the festivities are over. This leads us to the last one…
- Make More Nourishing Meals. As we go through all the stresses of preparing and celebrating the Holidays, our bodies use up so much energy that we end up depleted and dehydrated. Make every meal extra nourishing with fresh produce that help rehydrate you. A variety of fresh vegetables and whole fruit and grains are your best friends. Load up on antioxidants- Vitamins C & E to help your cells regenerate. You can also get an extra boost from a superfood like Spirulina or an adaptogen like Maca.