Last Monday, during a scheduled morning jog with a friend of mine, our mid-jog conversation quickly turned to the usual issue of the festive season and its close ties with weight gain.
To say the least, the holiday season tends to get quite hectic; family events, staff parties, and planning your annual leave can all be very overwhelming, which may challenge one’s physical and mental well-being. Luckily, there are a few ways that we can actively combat these circumstances by planning time for self-care and taking breaks when things may get out of hand.
A good way to keep your mind calm and relaxed is to practice mindfulness regularly. Mindfulness is a basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Since it is a quality that we already possess, it’s not something you have to build up to, but just have to learn how to access it. Whichever way of stress relief works for you, make it a point to allocate some time for it into your schedule. The same applies to movement. This can vary from walking to jogging, periodic stretching throughout the day, or even just climbing up and down the stairs for a number of times during the day. It doesn't have to be much, but it needs to be part of your schedule.
Using my friend as an example - he has managed to slot in this time himself, even though he has a very hectic lifestyle, with running a company of a few hundred employees, three children and his fourth on the way, etc… Why am I mentioning this? Everyone has their own definition of being busy or having a hectic lifestyle, but everyone has the same needs at the end of the day.
In order for you to be able to maintain the recurrence and rhythm of things, whatever plan you make needs to be simple, basic, and realistic.
Aside from the above, a significant component of the plan should be to allocate sufficient time to your sleep. You see, sleep can contribute to a lot of factors. Missing out on sleep can wreak havoc on your body; It can throw off your hormones, make you feel angry and depressed, and can even make you gain weight. So do yourself and the people around you a favor and prioritize sleep, preferably 7 to 8 hours a night. Draft a basic plan and stick to it.
Other ‘festive season problems’ we discussed trying to avoid alcohol and excessive food consumption, as this also contributes to weight gain.
Let’s take alcohol for instance; some people like myself don't drink alcohol at all. If you are one of those people, well then congratulations! If not, chances are you'll get offered more than one glass of something during the festive season and alcohol makes your body work very hard to get rid of those toxins. So the least you can do to support it with that strenuous labor is by keeping it hydrated. Follow up every glass of alcohol with a glass of water.
When it comes to food, use cheat-occasions not a cheat-season. Nowadays most of us know what's good and what's not for our health so mindfulness is the very core key element here. Moreover, one should eat well before going to an occasion in order to avoid getting to the event very hungry, as this ends up in eating all sorts of food without any control.
Let's enjoy this festive season together while keeping in mind our very own health and others’ with these simple and easy tips, and most of all keeping safe.
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