5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Festive Season (Illustrated)

Ché Dyer
5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Festive Season (Illustrated)

With the festive season kicking off, the temptation for our healthy yoga habits to slide is both alive and alluring! So here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy during the holidays.

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Throughout the festive season there will be office drinks, social gatherings, family affairs, and parties with friends. Be selective about the events that you choose to attend, knowing that saying yes to everything will only leave you feeling exhausted and depleted — which is obviously not the way we want to enter the new year!

Work out which events are important to you, and don't feel guilty about saying "no" to the rest! Use that time wisely to rejuvenate yourself, rest, and restore from all the other festivities of the season.

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In complete contradiction to point 1, tip number 2 is to say "yes" — although this refers to something slightly different.

At the festive events that you DO choose to attend, there are bound to be sweet treats and naughty nibbles lurking around every corner. Attending all these events with a "zero tolerance" policy is likely to leave you feeling frustrated and deprived — so why not create a little rule of allowing yourself one cheat snack per event or per week?

By giving ourselves leeway with limitations, it's much easier for us to stick to our plan. And knowing that we are allowed one naughty treat helps keep us on the health track for the majority of the rest of the time.

Wherever else possible, go for healthy options, and if you know healthy options won't be available, offer to bring along a healthy platter, pot-luck style, so that you can still munch through the festivities with options that are more aligned to your health goals.

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With all the office parties and festive events, it's easy for our regular yoga routine to be thrown off course — so as much as possible try and stick to your usual schedule.

Whether that is waking up early to head to your favorite yoga class, developing your home practice, hitting the gym, or going for a run — note the times you usually make time to keep fit and guard them carefully! Where possible, try and work the festive events around your yoga practice rather than the other way around!

Maintaining a schedule for your yoga practice during this time will not only help keep your body physically fit and healthy, but it will also be beneficial for the peace of mind that it will bring you as the silliness of the season picks up a notch.

If your calendar of events is already crammed full and you can't seem to fit a whole class of asana practice in anywhere, make sure that you take a few minutes each day to sit in stillness and connect back with yourself.

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This season is about family and friends gathering together, so why not use it as an opportunity to promote activities that are active?

Instead of heading to the local pub, head to an ice-skating rink, or introduce your friends and family to your local yoga class. Even taking a walk outside together to go look at the Christmas lights in your area is a fun activity that gets everyone up and moving.

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It's easy to feel like we are completely failing at our health goals at this time of year, so it's important to remind ourselves to be a little bit more forgiving of ourselves.

This season is about joy, celebration, festivities and togetherness, with the odd little bit of indulgence thrown in here and there. Life is about balance, and it's crucial that we don't beat ourselves up if we have an "off day" or indulge in too much figgy pudding.

At the end of the day, is one extra mince pie and one missed yoga class really going to harm you in the greater scheme of things?

I highly doubt it — as long as we make sure that the yoga mat is ready to roll out come January!