Love 'em or hate 'em, the holidays are here in all their tinseled glory.
The season is associated with joy, peace and happiness, but for many people, it can be a severely stressful time, especially for someone trying their best to stay on track with their mental, physical, nutritional and overall health goals. Luckily for you, DNDY Coaching has helped guide many clients over the years through the chaos that this time of year can bring.
Here, we’ll explore tips you can use to navigate your way through the holidays with confidence.
With holiday parties and late(r) nights, it’s easy to merge into unhealthy sleeping patterns. And oddly, somewhat expected. One of the most important coaching tips I can give you during the festive season is to make sure to prioritize sleep. Sleep influences many physiological functions, including hormonal balance, immune function, neurological performance, growth and repair of muscles.
How much sleep required for optimal performance greatly depends on the individual and their lifestyle choices. However, the average adult requires between six to eight hours of sleep every night.
Unhealthy sleep patterns can lead to a host of emotional and physiological disorders. Poor sleep can also compromise the immune system.
YOU'VE GOT THE POWER
How many times have you absolutely dreaded a situation, creating a narrative of HOW TERRIBLE it was going to be only to find that after going through it, it wasn't really that bad? Sound familiar?
Practice removing the invisible power that the holidays hold over you. Look at the FACTS and not the story you've created based on old experiences that, often, no longer exist. Or future experiences that also, do not exist. If it helps, write a list that differentiates between that Facts and the Story. You'll be surprised by how much of your worry is simply made up.
Our source of dissatisfaction often lies in our impulses and our repeated dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic.
You must dedicate time for relaxation as it is is essential to staying healthy.
There are literally hundreds of different ways you can choose to relax. So, let's not spout the ridiculous theory that you just can't relax. Sorry, I don't buy it.
Whether it’s meditation, yoga, reading a book, taking a nap, a light workout, a bath, making love, taking a walk, playing a game, stretching, going to a cafe, writing, watching a movie, etc. make sure you take time to relax and energize, especially during the holiday season.
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” –Sydney Harris
FOOD (AND DRINK) WILL TEST YOU
In the modern world, at any hour of the day, food and drink are available. While it isn't just a matter of self-control for those suffering with eating disorders or alcoholism, for the majority it does come down to, well, self-control.
Although the pleasure of food is experienced on the tongue, it’s crystal clear that the purpose of food is truly revealed when it assimilates with the body through digestion. On the other hand, the pleasure of alcohol is experienced on the tongue and throughout the body. The purpose? Mostly as a social lubricant and/or crutch.
It's even more important during the holidays to realize that we should eat and drink to live rather than live to eat and drink.
TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF GIFT GIVING
Gift giving can become a downright financial burden around the holidays, it doesn't have to break the bank.
Simply spending quality time with the people you love and care about can be the best gift you can give. Memories will last a lifetime while, no matter what the material gift may be, its will degrade and its shine will fade over time.
Plus, do you really think your friends and family want you to go broke buying them gifts? They don't.
Remember that many families go without gifts during the holiday season, and sometimes even without a hot meal or a warm place to sleep. The holiday season is one long commercial and it's difficult to not fall for it. The true spirit of the holiday season comes from giving back, giving thanks and helping those in need.
Helping others provides a sense of duty and courage. It also has a way of simultaneously empowering and humbling us. And providing such an example for children will not only teach them of their connection to other people, it will give them the tools to be a good human in the large ecosystem that is our world.
The holiday season can get crazy busy, it’s imperative that you continue (or start) staying active at this time of year.
Whether you enjoy walking, weight lifting, yoga or spin class, make sure to allocate time for these activities. You've worked hard to establish your healthy habits, so it’s important to try your best to keep going, even with a busy schedule.
Consider these activities just as important as an appointment with your doctor or a business meeting.
INDULGE IN MODERATION
One indulgent meal is not going to ruin your life.
If you're going to indulge, indulge guilt free. Keeping the negative self-talk to a minimum is always a good idea, especially during this time of year. Besides, if you are following the other suggestions listed here, a couple indulgences over the holidays will be nothing to worry about.
Healthy living is best assessed over a period of weeks rather than days, and will not be completely screwed by the odd “cheat meal.”
Many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be and look like. When they don’t live up to those expectations, heavy disappointment sets in.
Try to be more realistic this year.
NOBODY has a perfect holiday or a perfect family, roll with the punches.
PLAN YOUR FUTURE
How are you going to improve next year? Start thinking about that now by planning ahead instead of when you, on January 1, 2020, make a resolution that will last a few months and then be repeated on January 1, 2021. Unfortunately, a mere 8% of resolutions are reached each year, on average. Why? Poor planning and much too lofty goals.
No to toot our own horn (toot! toot!) but we offer mobile and one-on-one fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coaching. Also, in early 2020 we will be offering Behavioral and Mental Wellness Consulting and be launching a Youtube channel.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Wishing you a happy, peaceful holiday season!
I sat down to write about making the “right” choices on Thanksgiving. Maybe I’d mention that the average American consumes around 4,500 calories on the holiday. Or maybe I’d talk about how important it is to get some exercise before (and after) gorging on all that deliciously-rich food in order to put at least a little of it to work for you? Or how maybe eating a low/no carb breakfast before filling your gullet with turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing, rolls, stuffing, apple pie, cranberry sauce, pecan pie and more stuffing would be a great idea. I could always talk about eating intuitively; eating to nourish your body and not getting caught up in a binge. Naaah. Not this time. There are hundreds, probably thousands of articles (trust me, I’ve read most of them for you) out there that offer the same cut and paste advice that you could Google in mere seconds.
You will probably overindulge. Guess what? If you live a relatively healthy lifestyle, one day of overindulging will not kill you OR your waistline. This article is meant to help you out on that other side of that mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy with extra butter. This article is to meant to give you an edge during and after the meal when you’re miserable, quite possibly regretful and straight up hating on yourself for eating SO MUCH food.
NOTE: I’m not advocating that you lose your damn mind Thursday, quite the contrary. But guess what? Many of us will. It happens. Chill.
The practical, proven advice below is the same I give my clients who are dealing with digestive stress. These tips will also help those who suffer from digestive issues that are acute and ongoing. I created an easy-to-follow list below as a way to help prevent or minimize the most common (gas & bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea) suffering that often parallel Turkey Day.
So keep those antacids on the store shelf.
GAS & BLOATING
What it feels like:
Uncomfortable fullness after eating a meal
Abdominal pain and/or distention
Actions to take:
Chew your food well (15 + per bite)
Colon massage (following the line of your colon)
Foods to eat:
Less (or no) dairy
Ginger, anise, fennel
Avoid sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol
Eating too fast (see chewing above)
Too much caffeine
Too much sugar or refined carbohydrates
Low stomach acid
Actions to take:
Don’t over consume liquids with your meal
Eat slowly (yes, chewing again)
Foods to eat:
Avoid overindulging caffeine and sugar
Avoid ice-cold drinks
Apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp in water)
Actions to take:
Get some exercise
Gentle yogic twists
Foods to eat:
Ample water for hydration
Probiotic foods like sauerkraut or kimchi
Flax and chia seeds
No processed foods
Food allergies or sensitivities
Lactose or sugar intolerance
Lack of good bacteria in the gut
Actions to take:
Drink a lot of fluids and stay hydrated; green juices, tea
No sugar, fat, dairy, excess meat
Place something warm on the abdomen while reclining
Foods to eat:
Simple green juices
Mild fruit smoothies
Black currant or blueberry juice
Slippery elm tea
BRAT diet: bananas, rice, apples, toast
Aloe vera juice (2-4 oz)
In the end, don't let one day of feasting turn into 5 days.
Be grateful for what you have.
My best to you,
Christopher Hostetler, founder DNDY Coaching
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Okay, what does that even mean? Listen to your body?
Like, literally listen?
Well, maybe if you’re later in years and your joints sound like someone crumpling bubble wrap, listening might indeed be a useful clue.
But for the most part, it’s hard to figure out what “listen to your body” actually involves.
So today, I'm going to tell you.
Let me hear your body talk
Bodies don’t talk in words. They talk in older, more subtle, more primal signals.
Pain or pleasure.
Feeling hot or cold.
Health or illness.
At times those signals are loud and clear, like when you stub your toe and your body yells “Shiiiiiiiiit, that really f*!^*$#g hurt!” with an immediate, intense stab of pain.
OR when you get the stomach flu, complete with a hellish headache and projectile... everything.
Other times those signals are a little foggier, or we don’t pay attention to them as much. Or at all.
Here are a few ways you can tune in to what your body just might be saying to you.
Set the stage
While you can listen to your body any time, any where, it helps when you don’t have other distractions.
So next time you’re somewhere quiet, just take a moment.
Focus your attention quickly over your body from head to toe.
Go body part by body part, sort of like a brief “scan”.
Just keep it pretty quick and easy to start.
During that 30 seconds (or so) you’re scanning, see what you notice.
Here are some things to look for.
Don’t judge; just gather the data.
Whatever you notice, just let it be. Don’t try to change or fix it.
All you’re doing is gathering data. Just observing.
Getting that feedback. Tuning in.
Remember: It’s not “good” or “bad”. It's just information.
Try this today
Remember, you are your own best experiment.
Want to work with me? For a FREE consultation, click here.
For FREE, easy-to-follow solutions to fix your broken diet, stay in shape when you're busy AND get better sleep, click here.
For more information about DNDY+ProCoach, click here.
For all the ways DNDY can support you, click here.
My best to you,
Christopher Hostetler, founder Do Not Die Young Coaching