If like me, the holidays left you feeling off balance and tired, you’re not alone. Splurging on gifts, late bedtimes, and feasting on fattening goodies can leave anyone feeling lethargic. Here are a few ways to get back on track, re-energized and ready to tackle the New Year.
Problem: OOPS….I FORGOT TO SLEEP!
Making sleep a priority is crucial to good health. It NEEDS to be number one! Here is the reason: It’s hard to tackle anything you are putting on your 2019 list if you’re feeling lethargic and exhausted. Plus, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adequate sleep staves off a multitude of other problems including disease and weight gain (not to mention crabbiness).
A healthy, normal routine should include at least seven hours of sleep—eight if you’re 50 or older (I bet you thought that amount was for toddlers and teenagers, right?). Try to sleep and wake up at more or less the same time every day, since our bodies rest best when we put them on a regular schedule.
Problem: YOU GREET 2019 STRESSED OUT AND TIRED
Take 5 to 10 minutes to escape to a quiet place every day and rest your body and mind. “I call this the ‘SITTING IN THE DARK.’ You need to schedule time to escape the world, take deep breaths and let your mind rest in a focused way, such as meditation or prayer,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, a lifestyle expert for WebMD and author of The Hunger Fix: The 3 Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.
A consistent routine of quiet time, taken whenever and wherever you can grab it, will help relieve pent up holiday tension and provide a daily dose of stress relief for the busy days ahead.
Problem: WHAT GYM? I HAVE COMPANY…….
Remember, any movement at all is better than nothing so simply restart your routine even if it’s a less ambitious version. “Don’t think you have to go to the gym for 60-plus minutes,” says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. “Studies have shown that small bouts of exercise accumulated throughout the day may provide many of the same benefits as one continuous bout of activity.”
Matthews suggests adding three 10-minute “mini-workouts” to your day, for example 10-minutes of bodyweight exercises (lunges, push-ups, planks) in the morning, a 10-minute brisk walk during your lunch break at work, and 10-minutes of yoga-inspired stretching in the evening. Or, just grab a couple of pals and take a spin around the block……everyone can share their holiday experiences!
Problem: NO MOTIVATION IN THE KITCHEN
The once overloaded fridge and cupboards are now empty and you are sweating at the thought of going into “that” room again. This may set you up for “fast food” meals. “You’ve got to enter the New Year with a plan and rituals to make mealtimes work,” insists Peeke. “Pull out your calendar and figure out which day you will go shopping for food. Then, every weekend, think through your week and plan it. Ask ‘Which days will I need to cook? Do I have what I need for those meals?’ If you have time, you might even cook and freeze meals for the week ahead.” If you know me, you can definitely see me dialing at this point. I don’t do well at meal prepping. PERIOD. Ease back into the kitchen slowly. You deserve a little break…..
By doing some simple cooking a few days a week—perhaps a soup in the slow cooker, a baked chicken, and a healthy casserole—you can make enough to have leftovers the other days. Eat healthier and feel less lethargic. A win-win!
Problem: YOUR HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A BOMB HIT IT!
A few weeks of hosting guests and acquiring more stuff, the holiday season can leave your home like a disaster zone. To get a handle on your housekeeping, check out flylady.com, a website that provides step-by-step tips on getting your house clean and organized. You can even subscribe to the Fly Lady’s (aka Marla Cilley’s) daily “Flight Plan” e-mails, which assign a task to tackle for that day.
Our favorite tip: Set the timer for 15 minutes and work hard to de-clutter one small area before the buzzer rings. Even a short amount of time, concentrated on one drawer, countertop or closet, can make a big difference over time. I’ve heard this tip given by several experts and IT WORKS! There is something about having a small chunk of time that makes the work seems less daunting.
Problem: THAT DARN SWEET TOOTH FAIRY:(
No judgement from me here…….I start celebrating before Thanksgiving and keep the crave-train going until Valentine’s Day (any any small but noteworthy holiday in between). I try to set Jan 1 as a “reset” day. Use any day that works for you but, set it now and tell someone for accountability! It works EVERY time.
Be honest with yourself about the types of foods that triggered binge eating, defined by a sense of lack of control that caused you to eat more than one, reasonable serving. Then eliminate those things from your diet for the next four to six weeks. A great tip is to clean out your cabinets and fridge and make sure you DON’T keep goodies anyplace you are going to be tempted to find them.
Do any of these categories sound familiar? How much time did you spend entertaining at the end of the year? Any great tips you’ve created to help with these melt-downs?
Happy New Year – wishing you everything you want in 2019!