Consistency can be hard to master with any aspect in life, but it can become especially challenging with health and wellness goals during the holidays. We’ve rounded up some experts in their field to talk about different aspects of wellness that can be challenging to stick with during the holiday season. These are simple tips that can help you stay on track and create a more balanced, well-rounded, and consistent holiday season.
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It’s easy to get lost in the holiday fun and forget to tune in to the signals our body and intuition are sending us. That’s why I set iPhone reminders for everything from drinking a glass of water, to stopping to take 5 long, deep breaths, pausing for a moment of gratitude, and even taking care of my skin! These reminders go off at different times throughout my day and week, and when they do, I stop to do whatever the reminder is telling me as soon as I see it. If I’m in the middle of something that absolutely can’t be interrupted, I set the reminder to go off again in 15 minutes. This not only leaves me feeling great even on the most hectic of days, but it’s also super rewarding to check off the bubble next to each reminder once I’ve completed it.
Check-in with yourself and modify these reminders often as you learn and grow new habits. It also helps to share your goals with a partner, friend or mentor so they can hold you accountable. Here is a screenshot of what my current reminders look like to help get you started 🙂
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Making time to exercise can be tough around the holidays with parties, family gatherings, and the extra “to dos” of the season filling your calendar…but it’s also when working out is most important to offset extra sweets, cocktails, and stress!
Before your calendar fills, schedule exercise time. If a conflict arises, look at the scheduled class (or run/ trip to the gym) as a commitment that needs to be rescheduled rather than cancelled. When you write something down (or put it in your Google Calendar if you love having it at your fingertips like me!) you’re much more likely to treat it like any other obligation and make it happen.
When thinking about being consistent, many people approach it as all or nothing. They’re either consistent or they’re not. They’re either on track or they’re off track. It can make it challenging to get started or restart because there’s such a build up and gearing up to do it perfectly.
Redefining what consistency looks like can be really helpful. It doesn’t need to look the same every day. Just by consistently showing up, doing the best you can each time and trusting the process could be all that’s required while ensuring you re-evaluate and adapt as needed.
We often don’t take into consideration that circumstances may have changed in our lives or with our bodies so we don’t always adapt and determine what we need now. What might have worked in the past to stay consistent may not work for you today. So, going into the holidays:
Laura B. Folkes
Certified Holistic Health Coach
For my clients and myself included, we all have that love/hate relationship when it comes to the holidays…. Here are my top two pieces of advice that I hope may resonate and be actionable for you to make a shift in your perspective this holiday season to maintain healthy habits while enjoying what the holidays were meant to be here for – connection, gratitude, and giving.
Practice the “1 item rule”: Bread basket/apps, alcohol, dessert, no scheduled exercise. You can choose one of these but avoid the “all or nothing” mentality and engaging in ALL of them… You want to drink at the party tonight? Cool. Do that, but make sure you are eating your fruits/veggies, getting movement in the day, and pass on the dessert and bread basket. Choose 1 item to indulge on, rather than all 4.
Prepare for the “aftermath”: It’s not the “one day of the party”… or the “weekend”… it’s the aftermath that follows and the day to day between parties/events. Prepare how you are going to handle leftovers after a party – pack them up to leave with each guest. Use a food delivery service for Sunday when you need to clean the house and don’t have time to shop/meal prep. Use a meal prep service like KettleBell Kitchen, Freshly, Or KitchFix to name a few for healthy pre-made options to have ready to go for the week. If you need to hire help do it – it will be worth it in the end!
Registered Dietician + Yoga Teacher
Connect on: Instagram
If you’re already feeling burned out by the daily grind of work and life, the holidays can make things worse. Family, friends, parties, gifts, food… all of it can make you feel like you’re constantly running on fumes.
We also tend to reflect on life during the holidays, and when things aren’t going the way we want them to, especially during a time of year that’s supposed to be “joyful,” this can have a compounding overwhelming effect on us too! So I will first offer consoling words… “it will be ok! Many people before you, myself included, have been in this similar situation before and you’re going to get out of it, promise!” But if this is a pattern that has happened year after year and you refuse for this to repeat again next year, it’s time to commit to yourself, your boundary-setting skills, your well-being & happiness. No negotiations.
Start by scheduling 1 to 2 weekly “check-ins” with yourself throughout the holiday season – these can be anything, but you have to do them on your own. Schedule a workout class, take a walk, go for a swim, get a massage, commit to listening to your meditation app. Whatever commitment you make to yourself will set you up to continue growing that commitment in the New Year, and as you take these small steps, you’ll start to notice big changes at work and in your life. Happy holidays!
Career & Life Coach
Special offer: Free Q&A session
During the holiday season shopping is at its highest! It can be so enticing to buy things just because they are on sale. Bringing a lot of new items into your space may create clutter that leaves you disorganized and stressed moving into the new year. Be critical of your purchases and prepare. Leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday create a tight list of items. Only include things you have really considered for purchase and wanted to buy regardless of a sale.
You can also organize what you give and receive. Ask friends and family to give you a wish list and share yours with others. This way you, family and friends will get items you will use and love that bring you happiness!
Certified Professional Organizer
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As the season transitions into cooler weather, the body is in its most vulnerable state. A simple habit to adopt is consistently wearing something around your neck …outdoors and indoors. Cold wind disrupts the thermodynamics of our body, leaving us vulnerable to opportunistic viruses and bacteria. Keep your scarf in your coat sleeve to remember to wear it outdoors, then switch to a cozy inside scarf if your house gets drafty.
Stay warm, stay healthy!
Kaysie Lingo & Cheryl Kujawinski
A Speech-Language Pathologist by degree and an entrepreneur by trade, Smita aims to spread Love in every way. She has been making her own bodycare products for over 6 years and founded Simply Smita, an organic skincare + wellness company, with her husband in an effort to create a fulfilling job that gives back to others. Smita believes that we feed our skin is just as important as what we feed our bodies. All of her products are handmade in small batches with 5 organic ingredients or less. She is committed to giving back to local charities, working in harmony with the Earth, and empowering others through her wellness blog. She aims to act as an agent of change to help spread wellness through the prism of Love: Love for our bodies, Love for the Earth and Love for each other. To learn more, visit her website www.SimplySmita.Com or sign up for her newsletter.
Club Pilates Lincoln Park, Wicker Park & North Center are boutique Pilates studios specializing in reformer fusion classes for anyone, at any age or fitness level. Pure to Joseph Pilates’ original Reformer-based Contrology Method, but modernized with group practice and expanded state-of-the-art equipment, Club Pilates offers high-quality, life-changing training at a surprisingly affordable price.
Abby is a lifelong athlete who has always loved the energy and camaraderie of group fitness. When she wanted a career change from the business world, Club Pilates was a natural fit with her motivation to “do well by doing good”. She’s thrilled with the excitement that Chicago has shown for Club Pilates and feels lucky she gets to call this her job! With three kids at home, she feels fortunate to have a great team helping her offer fabulous Pilates and customer service seven days a week.
Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults who know what they should be eating but have a hard time sticking to it by helping them identify the familiar patterns keeping them stuck so they can radically transform their relationship with food. She ensures her clients don’t feel deprived by guiding them to make small, incremental changes so the journey is more enjoyable. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.
Laura can be contacted at email@example.com.
Kristen DeAngelis is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, Yoga Teacher and Health Coach practicing functional nutrition, addressing root causes to get to solutions for her clients dealing with hormone imbalances, thyroid conditions, weight loss resistance, adrenal dysfunction, gut issues, and food sensitivities. Kristen works with individuals virtually world-wide in her private practice Kristen DeAngelis Wellness as well as with Nutrition Dynamic. Kristen has received her BS in Nutrition and Exercise at Virginia Tech, completed her Dietetic Post Graduate Program in Chicago at Ingalls Hospital, and has completed several Yoga Trainings all over the world specialized in Iyengar, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Mindfulness. Kristen’s mission is to have a powerful impact on the health, happiness, mindset and vitality of peoples lives utilizing food, lifestyle, movement, and mindset as medicine.
Kristen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Traines is a career and life coach on a mission to end burnout by empowering her clients to find their authentic voices so they can create careers and lives they love. She does this through coaching programs, workshops, writing and speaking at organizations. She’s been published in numerous publications like The Everygirl, Thrive Global and Bustle and is currently writing her first book!
Want to talk more about your career goals and commit to ending the burnout cycle in the New Year? Schedule your free Q&A session with Liz here!
Mackenzie Scott, CPO® is a Certified Professional Organizer at Mission 2 Organize LLC (M2O). She is proud to be a part of the M2O team led by Co-founders Schae Lewis, CPO® and Bahar Partow. In teams of two or more, M2O makes BIG changes their clients can be proud of whether it’s decluttering their home or office, or executing organized packing and unpacking for a move. Mackenzie loves giving clients the peace-of-mind that comes when you know where everything is, saving clients time and aggravation. Acting out her life’s passion while providing clients with the space and capacity to reach their personal goals makes every day rewarding at Mission 2 Organize.
Mackenzie can be contacted at email@example.com.
Kaysie Lingo has participated in alternative health practices beginning in 1997. She believes that the goal of achieving health is a multi-tiered process that starts with the decision that your overall wellness is a priority.
As graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and Chicago School of Massage Therapy, she uses acupuncture, herbal medicine, and body work to assist individuals with their goals.
Kaysie is licensed by the State of Illinois, Board Certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and certified in Herbal Medicine by the (ICEAM) Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine.
Cheryl Kujawinski is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, NCCAOM board certified,and licensed in the state of Illinois. After graduating from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in 2010, Cheryl continues to learn different acupuncture strategies to improve her skills as a healer, and in 2017 started teaching acupuncture at the Chicago campus of PCOM.
For Cheryl, treating an array of health problems comes down to treating the mind and body of a person, not just the symptoms. In the last few years she has taken an interest in women’s health and fertility, and has found nothing greater than hearing the exciting news of pregnancy from an ecstatic mother-to-be. In addition to fertility, Cheryl finds treating pain conditions extremely rewarding. Being able to reduce pain quickly is one of primary functions of acupuncture, and in understanding and applying acupuncture theory, she is able to watch her patients walk out of the office in less pain.
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