Our health is directly tied to spending time with loved ones and having fun, so the holidays can be a great time to rejuvenate and connect. But the excess of the season can also put a major strain on our productivity levels and personal goals. The challenge is, how do you enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year” without derailing all of your hard work?
Here are some tips to keep you going strong and ending the year on a high note:
Stick to your exercise routine
If you do one thing for yourself this season, do this. It can feel like everything you do between now and the end of the year is for someone else: feeding, gifting, cleaning, planning. The best task you can do for you is to stick to your exercise routine. This one small act of determination will trickle into everything else. Regular exercise is proven to make you mentally sharper and improve energy levels, as well as alleviate stress. There couldn’t be a better time to stick to it.
Eat for productivity, especially at breakfast
A protein and nutrient rich breakfast will not only stave off distracting hunger pangs, but also keep you energy levels up. This Easy Green Smoothie Bowl is a great way to jump-start your metabolism. And if you find yourself rushing out the door a little more often during the holiday season, stock up on ready to drink Protein Shakes, or even prep some Overnight Oats for a quick and easy option that provides the nutrition you’ll need to keep brain and body happy.
Do the tough stuff first
This is a great rule for productivity, no matter the time of year. Your productivity wanes the longer you work. Prioritize tasks so that you’re working on the most difficult projects first thing in the morning. You’ll get more done this way, and can end the day with less pressing, more routine tasks. It’s no surprise that the most productive time of day is 9 a.m.
Just because someone in your office was nice enough to bring in the cookies (or brownies, or cakes, or pies) again, does not mean you need to eat them. Don’t starve yourself of all the fun holiday treats, but during this time of abundance, it’s ok to be a little picky. You’ll avoid those dreaded sugar spikes and crashes– the death of healthy energy levels–if you avoid work day sweets.
The less sleep you get, the slower you are at work. The importance of rest any time of the year can’t be stressed enough, but it can be tough to catch enough zzzz’s during the chaos of the holiday season. If you feel like you aren’t getting your pillow time in, start saying no. Lack of sleep is a common symptom of overcommitment, so consider saying no to a few social engagements or even consider reprioritizing your own self-imposed priorities. Do you really need to be up until 1am doing your online Christmas shopping? Consider shortening your Christmas list a little, Santa.
Pause and be mindful
Those around you may be full of frenetic energy, but set your own tone. It is more than possible to not only survive the holiday season, but to thrive and connect to your particular observance and community in a deep and meaningful way. Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, or simply pausing over a cup of tea, take a moment here and there to remember your own priorities.