There are so many ways to get sick during the month of December…you know what I mean? It’s also one of the saddest months to get sick, because…HELLO! Holiday cheer! Christmas parties! Festive baking! Eggnog! I don’t want to get sick at any time of the year, but the month of December is especially high on my “stay healthy” list.
I’m not making any drastic changes or doing any crazy diets this month. That’s just not my way of enjoying the holidays. But I am taking a few steps to make sure I’m feeling my best all month! I’m also highlighting mental health and wellness in December, because stress is absolutely a form of sickness! Recognizing mental health as part of my overall “health check” is a newer idea for me, but I’m noticing so many positive changes in my life when I take the time to make sure that my mind is feeling healthy. The main way I do this is through exercise, but journaling, reading, podcasting, and nurturing my relationships all fall into my general “mental health” category.
Alright then, here we go. These are the ways I’m focusing on my health this Holiday season!
1. I’m going to barre class 4X/week.
My normal goal for barre is four times a week, but I’ve had a couple weeks recently when I’ve just made it 2-3 times. This month, I’m being extra careful to make sure I schedule that fourth class! My energy, mood, focus, and sleep are all so much better when I’m consistent with my workout schedule
I love me some barre code.
We’re lucky in Austin to have a lot of great barre studios. I’ve been going to The Barre Code because I feel like they offer something different: an emphasis on everything you can gain, not what you can lose. This aligns perfectly with how I’m approaching my December: I’m not trying to lose weight or push myself too hard. I’m just trying to experience my best health and gain more energy!
2. I’m getting enough sleep.
So simple, yet so hard to do! December gets busy, and I’m just as guilty as anyone of sacrificing my sleeping hours in order to stay up late (hi, holiday parties!) or wake up early (I really love those early barre classes.) But I really do feel like poop if I haven’t gotten my 8 hours of sleep!
Sometimes I have to force myself to take a nap; that’s hard for me, because I really don’t like taking naps! Haha… (Kelsey’s inner 5-year-old is coming out right now.) I can think of at least 15 things I’d rather be doing than napping. But sometimes I have to make myself lie down for 30 minutes for a power nap. But really, I need my sleep or I’ll get grouchy.
3. I re-read Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Stress makes us sick! I know that December can be one of my most stressful months, so I decided to vamp up my organizational system to help me stay on top of my to-do list. You know what? It has helped SO much!
If you haven’t read Getting Things Done by David Allen, I highly suggest it. It’s the best method for organizing your to-do list, figure out a way to decide what to do at any given time, and actually Get Stuff Done!
David Allen says, “the mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” His approach to getting things done is to have an easy way to keep track of all the thoughts, idea, and to-dos that you have throughout the day. Then, when you get everything out of your brain and written down, you can organize it to figure out your “next action.” No matter where you are, how tired or energized, and how much time you have, you’ll be able to find at least one small thing you can do that will contribute to getting everything done.
I love this book! I read it once about 3 years ago, but I re-read it recently thinking that it would be a good project to work on this December. It’s helping me feel organized and calm.
4. I’m eating anything I want to eat.
This doesn’t sound all that healthy, but I know that if I deprive myself of something, I’ll crash and burn and end up over-indulging in something else!
This December, I’m eating whatever I feel like eating. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that my body does a good job of telling me when I need greens, proteins, water, or carbs, or even some sugar or a glass of wine for a treatI. ‘ve also noticed that if I indulge in a little bit of something yummy when I want it, I’ll be content and I won’t over-eat later in the day.
I belieeeve this is a method called intuitive eating, although I haven’t read any books about this method or studied it. But it’s what’s working for me right now. This December, I’m going to indulge when I see something that looks delicious, and I’m going to listen to my body and fuel it with what it wants.
Super simple. I’m not doing anything crazy this month! (Although I do have a couple things planned for 2018!! *wink.)