Holiday Stress Management - Part 2

Yesterday we talked about dealing with the stress of the holidays and talked about awareness in other.  Today, we'll talk about self-care.

Taking care of your physical and mental health is the single most important aspect of creating and maintaining holiday health and happiness. Start now - don't wait until the holiday is actually here. Eat a healthy diet that gives you most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, grains, and other delicious low-fat ingredients. Why? The point is to feel better about yourself. If you eat better, you feel better. You have more energy. You look better and consequently, your self-esteem is enhanced.  The higher your self-esteem, the more confident and successful you are. (Get the cycle?) If you're on a diet, be realistic and don't expect to maintain a level of weight-loss you were accomplishing back in September if you have many holiday obligations where there is food. Enjoy in moderation. If you can maintain your current weight through the holidays and pick back up on the weight-loss after the holidays, you're doing pretty darn good!  But don't beat yourself up if you have a piece of cake or a couple of holiday cookies.  That may make you feel like a failure and ruin the festive nature of celebrations and parties.  Exercise regularly. Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.  Feeling good is good! :) Take a look at the article, Top Ten Cardio Exercises by Paige Waehner for excellent exercise ideas and Wendy Bumgardner offers the Ten Week Walk of Life Program. Schedule time for your exercise to make sure you get it in and be flexible with moving it around if you need to.  The important part is not when but the fact that you DO exercise.

The point of today's post is that YOU need to take care of you.  I was speaking with someone in the office just yesterday about how everyone is looking to do lunch or dinner or parties this time of year and its hard on the waistline.  But it doesn't have to be and its up to YOU to make the adjustments necessary to take care of yourself.  I actually plot out my dinner menu for the week based on what I've got scheduled for the week so I don't pack on the pounds.  I add a little bit of time to the exercise schedule to help compensate for that delicious desert I had last night at a holiday party.  I chose low-fat lunches. All things that I did to take care of me. 

What are you doing to take care of YOU this holiday season?