The wind-down to the end of year is almost done, and many people are in holiday mode. Whether you’re going away or staying home, the break – if you’re lucky enough to get one – can be spent recharging the batteries ready for another healthy year of busy-ness.
Things to focus on during the break:
Most of us lead busy lives, and we’re pulled from pillar to post all year. This gets worse in December for many, with end-of-year functions, work deadlines, school holidays and the like all demanding attention.
Use the break to develop some healthy sleep rituals. Where possible, try to develop sleep times you can maintain once everything gets going again. While it may be OK for a few days to have big sleep-ins, most of us have early starts for work and children all year so it’s better in the long term to develop workable sleep patterns.
Get rid of electronic devices from the bedroom. They can stay in the lounge room so that the bedroom is a sanctuary for sleep and intimacy.
Minimising alcohol, and ensuring dinner is not huge assist sleep quality.
It’s easy to ‘wing it’ while on holidays, and it feels like you’re giving yourself a break. The problem is that if you’re not planning and preparing meals, you may not choose the right foods. This increases the likelihood of sabotaging your weight loss plans.
Lack of meal preparation during your break leads to lack of prep when life gets back to normal. Us the time well to re-establish or initiate habits that will serve you well for the year ahead.
Even for those who love exercise, it’s very easy to fall out of the habit. Holidays are a great time to develop an exercise ritual. It might be an early morning walk – the weather is good and, let’s face it, you’ll be getting up early because of your good sleep agenda.
Meditation or mindfulness
These are stress-reduction techniques that can help through the year. The daily practice of being in the present and letting go, even temporarily, of life’s stresses can do wonders for your health and your weight.
Play with the kids. Connect with friends and family members. Expand your social networks. Social connectedness and a sense of belonging and support is vital to the emotional and mental health of most people. We are social animals, and most us need to make the effort to feed that need.
Enjoy your break, rest up, and develop the healthy habits that will carry you through the year ahead.
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