Tis the season to fall into old habits. There’s something about the holiday season that makes indulging in unhealthy behavior appear absolutely fundamental. Apart from the obvious reasons like aggressive marketing by companies who all but shimmy down your chimneys and force your finger to press buy or force that entire bag of cookies down your throat, the holidays have a way of taking your guard down a notch.
The months of October, November, and December are notoriously some of the worst for maintaining goals. Here are some habits you might want to start or restart around the holiday times to combat falling off your journey towards becoming the best version of yourself.
Keep Your Home Treat Free
In my experience, there’s never a time when getting my hands on free, sugar-loaded snacks is easier than around the holidays. You go into work and there are Christmas cookies and donuts in the office, you walk into a building and there’s chocolates at the receptionist desk. You hang out with a friend and they’re offering you some chocolate peppermint covered pretzels. There’s no need for you to keep unhealthy, age accelerating, acne encouraging, weight gain boosting foods around when they’re all waiting for you outside your door.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a cookie at all during the holidays, but by leaving the unhealthy snacking to something you do outside of the house, not only does it restrict your access to these things, but it also restricts the quantity at which you consume the goods. Just about everything is ok in moderation. It’s easier to practice moderation when it’s someone else’s bag of chocolate covered peppermint pretzels that you’re reaching into instead of your own.
This is something I strive to do all year long but it’s especially important around the holidays. There’s something about the cold weather that makes me lazier and increases my appetite for the worst kinds of food. Meal prepping has allowed me to have my lazy days where I don’t feel like cooking all without the consequences that typically follow from those bouts of laziness.
One of my mantras is to work with myself and not against myself. If I know I’m a big snacker then I keep readily available healthy snacks around. It’s so much easier to just eat buttery flaky croissants with caramel cappuccinos for breakfast and dinner when you’re lazy and there’s no fresh food ready for you to grab just as quick as a stop to your local Starbucks might be. By buying lots of fruits, nuts, and prepping meals into ready to go bags or containers, you give yourself fast food that won’t destroy your health.
Date More Carefully
It would appear that when the nights get longer so to does our list of reasons for why we should take him back or start with this new guy. Understand that the holiday mood is a simulated experience whose only purpose is to get you to make poorer decisions than you would otherwise.
You should always explore your options but hold off on making any serious commitments around this time of year because he might just be suffering from cuffing-season-anxiety and be gone by the spring.
Keep a Summer Frame of Mind
Taking the time to groom and primp becomes so much more difficult to do when your skin is going to be covered in layers of clothes. But funny enough, the winter time is my favorite time for primping and pampering myself.
By buying yourself new accessories for shaving, or new face, hair, and body masks, staying on top of your grooming becomes a whole lot easier. I also like to buy new work-out clothes and swim gear. By keeping a summer frame of mind in the winter, I find it easier to maintain certain habits and consequently certain standards to my appearance.
Happy New Years, Now!
Some people are into New Years resolutions and some are not. I happen to fall into the camp that is. I love having game plans and tackling life with a strategy in mind. However, I always found myself failing horribly at my resolutions. In order to combat this, I decided to start my New Years resolutions months in advance.
My idea was that instead of welcoming the New Year with the idea of a new me, I would instead welcome the New Year with new habits already in place and just spend the year maintaining these habits and it has made all the difference. By using the winter arena as a time for preparing rather than a time for slowing down, I feel months in advance to goals and more prepared to maintain them.
Growth is impossible to measure in just a straight line. This is especially the case when on one’s journey towards becoming the best version of yourself. Learning to work with yourself instead of against yourself will be your best move around the holiday season. Slip ups are extremely common around this time of year so don't beat yourself up about it. Just begin again.
Lilith is a blogger with an emphasis in writing and reflecting upon social agendas that effect black women. When not at her computer writing she is more than likely still at her computer, programming. On the rare occasion that Lilith isn't at her laptop you can attempt to find her exploring the Chicago food scene or attending workshops in creative writing.