Written by XX2i Optics Athlete Natasha LaBeaud Anzures. Natasha holds the Canadian National Record for the 15k distance, and continues to inspire healthy living and active lifestyles through her non-profit, 2nd Recess.
Strategies for maintaining fitness and self-care during the holidays
You can smell the gingerbread in the air mixed with the fresh, crispness of pine trees circling around you. Windows are decorated with fake snow with the latest gizmos and gadgets prominently displayed under tinsel and multi-colored lights. New flavors of pumpkin-spiced everything and peppermint can been seen in every store aisle and coffee shop.
You know what all of this means--the holidays are here, and with the festivities comes long to-do lists that yield unrelenting stress, but you do not have to jump aboard the anxiety-train. You can make this holiday season a time to change your mindset and reflect on personal health with these tips:
1. Make your health a priority: There is a reason that flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. This concept does not need to remain only on an airplane, but should take place regularly. Take time to put yourself first so that you can recharge and actually breathe. This may include meditating at the same time each day, preparing quality meals for yourself, or maximizing how long you sleep.
2. Make the mornings your friend: While the thought of waking up before the sun has even started to peek out may not seem like the most fun way to start the day, early mornings can allow you to conquer a workout, head to yoga, or go on a brisk walk before anything else. Do you have a busy day planned? Wake up early and make your exercise routine a priority while everyone else snoozes.
3. Get the family involved: Plan activities that incorporate health and fitness for the whole family. For example, head to your local track so you can run while the kiddos test themselves in the long jump pits. Or, download a fun game that allows for all ages to get a great circuit workout: https://www.2ndrecess.org/family-health-fitness-fun-game/
4. Remember, memories are more important than perfection: It is easy to start thinking that the holidays HAVE to be perfect in order for them to be successful. However, think back on your favorite holiday memories. What do you remember as being the best parts of those holidays? Perhaps you think about laughing with your siblings as you ignored your toys and played in a big box? Or maybe, you think about the cozy atmosphere of sitting with the family after a dinner, just embracing one another’s company? Do not fret about making everything so perfect that you forget what is truly important-- spending time with those individuals who you love.