Many of you have been emailing me for tips on how to get through the holidays without binging, feeling guilty, and sabotaging yourself with all of the super tempting food (and drinks) that you’ll be hanging around.
Sure, I could give you the usual list of how to “combat” the temptation and keep yourself from eating and drinking too much, but you know as well as I do… you already know all of that.
I tell my clients all the time, trying to stop yourself while you are in the middle of a craving is like jumping out of an airplane and THEN wondering where your parachute is.
What you need is a game plan, or what I like to call a morning ritual, to start your day on the right foot.
So I’ve put together a 6 step plan that you can use to get yourself into the right frame of mind from the get-go. This way you will be able to not just “get through” the holidays… not just “survive” them, but to really feel free to enjoy yourself and have lots of fun too.
1. Set Your Alarm
Yeah, I know, waking up to an alarm is never fun but trust me it will be worth it.
Side note: Set the harp alarm on your iPhone if you have one. Somehow, this alarm seems less irritating than most.
Set your alarm for an hour and fifteen minutes before you actually have to get up for the day. Doing this is going to give you the time and space you need in order to clear your mind and get into the right perspective for a day of fun and freedom.
2. Lay In Gratitude
Lay in bed for a minute or two to let yourself wake up. Take a few minutes to appreciate the day, the people you are going to get to see and spend time with. Really picture them in your mind and be thankful for them. Imagine them laughing, smiling, and being happy.
Also take a few minutes to be thankful for your body. This sounds a little silly, but really feel yourself IN your body right now. Wiggle your toes and stretch your arms and give gratitude for the simple things about your body, like the fact that your heart was beating for you all through the night without you even having to think about it.
3. Stretch Like A Dog
Next, roll out of bed and onto the floor and do a few stretches to get the blood moving.
You’ve seen cats and dogs do this when they wake up, right? That’s why the yoga pose, downward dog is called downward dog.
Take a page from their book and stretch in whatever ways feel good to you.
4. Break A Sweat
Head to the bathroom now and do your thing — brush you teeth, etc and get yourself dressed and ready for an at-home workout. You don’t even have to leave the house to get your body moving and break a good sweat, there are plenty of workouts online (bodyweight, yoga, etc) that you can use.
I want you to get a good 20-30 minute workout in. Choose whatever style workout you like best.
The point of this workout is not to get “calories in the bank” or burn off a portion of what you plan to eat during the day, which is what I’m sure you are used to hearing. The point of this is to set you up for a feeling of success.
When you work out first thing in the morning, you just mentally feel better. Your body feels better. And when you feel good and healthy, you make decisions that align with that. You also “sweat the small stuff” a lot less and that’s a practice I wholeheartedly teach.
5. Go Inward
After your workout, shower up. Then, find a quiet spot to spend the last fifteen minutes alone with yourself.
Set a timer and spend about 5 minutes in meditation. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your back straight so your weight is on your sit bones. Rest your hands on your knees.
Clear your mind and focus on breathing deeply. As thoughts pop into your mind (and they will) just release them and refocus back on your breath.
Use this time again, to practice being in your body, in this moment and feeling gratitude for it.
6. Set Your Intentions
Spend the last 10 minutes journaling. Journal about what this day means to you.
Visualize and write the story of how you see the day playing out for you in the most positive scenario. See yourself laughing and having fun.
What are you doing during the day in this best case scenario?
Who are you spending time with?
What emotions best describe how you are feeling?
How does it feel to enjoy foods that you love eating in portions that allow you to feel your best?
When you are finished, close your journal and feel proud for taking this time for yourself today.
I’ll tell you a little secret that we sometimes forget in all the hustle and bustle. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and food can be enjoyed during the holidays without guilt and self-sabotage.
But in order to enjoy food in a physically and mentally healthy way, you’ve got to set yourself up for success by getting into the right mindset first thing when you start your day.
If you take the time to follow these 6 steps, your day is going to go much more smoothly and will be much more fun. You’ll feel free, and open, and at peace. You’ll see.
Once you’ve completed these steps, leave me a comment below and let you know how you feel. I bet you’ll feel on top of the world and ready to have a ROCKIN’ holiday with your family and friends!