As I send this, we are celebrating Memorial Day in the US. This holiday celebrated the last Monday in May, became a federal holiday in 1971 to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Schools are mostly finished with the year, pools open, daylight hours continue to expand, schedules get looser and vacation-mind kicks in.
While it’s important to enjoy this part of the year, it’s also crucial to maintain consistency with our health habits to honor our own well-being.
In what follows, we’ll explore how to balance celebrations and holidays, which seem to happen more frequently than not, while prioritizing healthy choices, allowing us to take better care of ourselves.
When faced with alternate schedules, due to a holiday, vacation or celebration, it’s easier to prioritize your health and well-being if you already have or can establish a consistent routine.
- Engage in physical activities. Take a walk, meet a friend for a run or schedule a class to begin your day. There are many options in most cities or online. By doing this, you are not only getting your body moving, you are relieving stress and setting yourself up for better choices throughout your day.
- Plan your food. This is especially important if you don’t have control over what might be available when visiting or traveling. Brining your own and enough to share is never a bad choice. Instead of relying solely on high-calorie festive dishes, opt for lean meats, grilled vegetables and fresh fruit.
- Hydration Is Key. Drink more plain water than you think you need. Not only will you stay hydrated, you’ll feel full longer
- Mindful Eating. Celebrations often include tempting treats and indulgences. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy these foods, practicing mindful indulgence is key. Chose smaller portions, eat slowly and savor the flavors while being conscious of your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Keep your focus on the purpose of the celebration or holiday, not the food choices, to avoid mindless snacking.
- Prioritize Rest and Reflection. Allow yourself time alone to slow down. Even if it’s 10 minutes, quiet time can help to reset your nervous system during a long activity filled day.