Published: January 7, 2016

    How I Bounce Back from the Holiday Hustle (and Weight Gain)

    Every year I approach the holiday season with caution. I know if I let myself get too caught up in the excitement, it’ll be a heavier, less healthy me ringing in the New Year. And every year my fears prove true but only to a limited extent. Here’s how I don’t let the season get the best of me.

    Sticking to Routine (Mostly)

    I’ve worked hard to build a healthy set of lifestyle habits. As much as possible, I try to stick to my normal eating and exercising routine. I drink my seven or eight glasses of filtered water every day, and I exercise almost as much as I do during the rest of the year.

    One of the great secrets I’ve discovered is to schedule a few luxuries into my regular routine. For instance, if I usually allow myself the occasional latte, it’s not as bad if I indulge in a little eggnog over the holidays. That being said, I do treat myself a bit more than usual over the holidays, which brings me to my next point.

    Beating myself up for past mistakes is pointless. So I ate that entire chocolate Santa, I had that second helping of dinner, and, yes, I drank more eggnog than might have been prudent, calorie-wise, but what I don’t do is feel badly about it. My holiday lapses are in the past. I can’t change them, so I’m not going to guilt over them. Feelings of guilt can lead to ice cream, and, in the aftermath of the holidays, that’s the last thing I need.

    No matter how well I managed to stick to my regular routine during the holiday season, as soon as it’s over, I completely get back to routine. If I do this, any minor infractions I may have committed over the holidays will quickly fall by the wayside.

    Exercise and the Great Outdoors

    I prefer to exercise outdoors, but I make a special effort to do so during and after the holidays. Exposure to bright sunlight helps reset my internal time clock, which takes a real hit in December. For much the same reason, I try to return to my normal bedtime routine as soon as New Year’s Day rolls around.

    As for getting active, exercise (indoors or outdoors) releases serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Feeling good about myself makes me more likely to stick to my health goals.

    Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

    It’s probably unsurprising given where I work, but I’m a firm believer in the benefits of drinking plenty of water. My Fruit Infuser rarely leaves my side, and I find that I think and move better when I’m getting enough water.

    This, in short, is how I survive and bounce back from the holidays: with a regular routine, plenty of water, and the awareness I’m allowed to treat myself every now and then. With a little commitment and a positive and healthy mindset, you can bounce right back too!

    –Wendy Woodward, Pelican Sales Director