By January, we have had enough. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, we revel in the holidays: eating, shopping, eating, drinking, celebrating, eating and staying up too late. Then we repeat it the next day. It is an annual ritual that we tell ourselves won’t happen next year but it does. It is challenging to break patterns as we are creatures of habit and the food and festivities are so delicious. It is possible to celebrate without the weight gain. I offer some gentle reminders for you to post on the refrigerator this holiday season.
1. Sleep. Notice your sleep patterns and learn how much sleep your body needs in order to function well without a lot of stimulants. Lack of sleep lessens the body’s ability to fight colds and germs.
2. Stay in the habit of exercise. Regular exercise boosts your immune system. Bring family with you to exercise.
3. Exercise with a friend and make a commitment to each other for support. It keeps you accountable so you don’t fall off the exercise wagon. It is too easy to get out of the habit of exercise so avoid more than two days between exercise sessions.
4. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
5. Eat slowly savoring the flavor. It reduces the desire to go for seconds if you slow down.
6. Limit the number and portion size of desserts.
7. Know that the sun will still rise tomorrow if you don’t get everything completed on your “to do” list today.
8. Don’t beat yourself up over anything that you think you “should have done”. Each new day, you are given a whole new 24 hours to celebrate. (words by Thich Nhat Hanh).
9. Laugh a lot – it is the best medicine.
10. Treasure the moments with family, friends and community.