This time of year, my hot tub becomes all-important. Of course, it’s important during the rest of the year, but during the holidays, it is my go-to for calm, quiet moments that rejuvenate me for my holiday plans. I’ve learned from experience to insist on those moments.
Like many people, during this season, I’m tempted to forgo healthful habits in favor of too much rich food and sugar and too little movement. Who can blame us? With family in town, cookie exchanges and parties to attend, it’s hard to find time for everything.
Good news: we don’t have to fall into that trap. There are steps you and I can take to make more time in our day and to help stick to our normal self-care habits. Here are some ideas:
Take 10 minutes.
Laura Brady Saade, founder of Give Me 10, a time management blog, believes that great things can be done in 10-minute chunks.
Just spend 10 minutes a day thinking about what you want and need to accomplish for the day or the week and you can build from there. Those 10 minutes will get the ball rolling.
Or, spend 10 minutes tackling a project like addressing cards or wrapping gifts. It’s only 10 minutes, so if it’s a task you dread, you’ll have a hard deadline. After one week you will have logged 70 minutes on any one task. Impressive!
Make a list. (You won’t need to check it twice.)
Put everything on that list, and if some of the to-dos are multi-part, list each part individually. Every check-off will be a victory and you’re less likely to miss key items.
Also, check out these tips for creating the perfect to-do list. From using technology to remembering to make to-dos verbs (“take dress to tailor” rather than just “tailor”), you’ll have all you need to make a goof-proof list.
Note: Remember those 10 minutes in the first tip? Perfect for making a to-do list!
Put on your gym gear.
There are many ways to prompt yourself to exercise, but my favorite is to get my running shoes on. Once they’re on my feet, they are a constant reminder, and all I have to do next is head out the door and go.
So, put on your sneakers or yoga gear and you’ll be much more likely to take the next step and exercise.
Experts say you only need to exercise four hours a week to build a healthy body. So if you do shorten your run or your workout routine to accommodate guests and social obligations, keep in mind that some exercise is still better than no exercise.
Stick to your diet by not dieting.
Dieting during the holidays could derail your diet altogether, since you will feel guilty almost all season long. That doesn’t mean you can’t balance diet and indulgences.
Reframe your goal a little bit; keep healthy foods around at all times and plan your meals and snacks ahead. These simple rules will help keep you well fed without feeling deprived or guilty.
Transform holiday stress into quality time.
This brings me back to my feelings about my spa during the holidays. When I don’t prioritize spa time, I become less patient and more irritable. I feel like something is missing. Add stress and holiday excess, and it isn’t long before I begin to feel less than my best.
Nothing warms the body faster than water, so I enjoy the comforting feeling of shaking off the cold winter temperature. Another benefit is that hot tub jets boost the lymphatic system, which, in turn, boosts the immune system so I can fight that cold and flu bug going around.
So, when I make my holiday to-do list, I make sure to add, “spend 20 minutes in hot tub” and I stick to that. Every day. In the end, the holiday gift I give myself allows me to give more to the ones I love.
What tips would you add to this list? Please tell me in a comment below and use the sharing buttons to spread the cheer of renewal!