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The One Thing That MUST Be on Your Holiday To Do List

The One Thing That MUST Be on Your Holiday To Do List
    Photo credit: WCN 24/7 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    We often think that the holidays are for spending quality time with our family, carrying out traditions and enjoying time at home with the ones we love the most. Although the holidays are truly a special time for our families, so should it be for you and you alone.

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    For most of us, we make plans to buy gifts, bake, shop, cook the right food, and decorate, but forget to plan time where we are away by ourselves doing whatever it is that makes us happy. Usually during the holidays there is enough support around (family or spouse) to look after the children while we take some time to pamper ourselves, so this works out perfectly.

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    Why is this time so important for one to take?

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    It’s like the message the airlines relate to us every time we take a flight – “Please place your oxygen mask on yourself before you tend to your child.” They tell us this because our children can’t be taken care of if we are slumped over from a lack of oxygen. The same is true for us in everyday life, particularly around the holiday season, when we can more easily take time out for ourselves due to the extra support around us. We MUST use this time to do something for ourselves in order to recharge and feel ready and willing to be “mom” or “dad” again.

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    But why MUST we do this?

    Scientists in the Journal of Research in Personality stated that just five minutes of quiet solitude is all it takes to reset the body’s stress-regulating sympathetic nervous system. In fact, when study volunteers took a solo timeout, their heart rates dropped and blood pressure stabilized. Plus, they subconsciously drew deeper breaths. This triple effect left them feeling focused, rejuvenated and 58 percent more energized. So, if 5 minutes can do this, just think how great you would feel if you scheduled an hour or two away by yourself doing something you love!

    Here are some suggestions for you to try. Feel free to add your own!

    1. Get a manicure, pedicure, or both!
    2. Go for a walk in nature.
    3. Sit at a cafe and read a book while sipping a latte or tea.
    4. Get a massage.
    5. Take a bath then cozy up in bed with a great magazine and a cup of tea while family or hubby takes the kids out to play
    6. Go to a yoga or exercise class.
    7. Watch a movie by yourself while everyone is out of the house.
    8. Write in a journal or diary. Write about your goals, fears, and things you’re grateful for.
    9. Get a facial or give yourself one at home while everyone is away from the house
    10. Go to the library and search the shelves for every book you said you’d love to read. Sign them out or book them for later. Then sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet of a library while you get lost in a fabulous book.

    A whole lot of planning goes into this time of year. Why not put yourself on that list of things to do? Your mind, body, spouse and children will thank you for it.

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    Last Updated on December 13, 2018

    12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

    12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

    Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

    A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

    1. Eat Before Heading Out

    First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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    2. Select The Treats

    Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

    3. Avoid Skipping Meals

    Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

    4. Drink With Moderation

    It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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    5. Be Active

    You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

    6. Get Out Of The House

    Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

    7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

    Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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    8. Set Realistic Goals

    You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

    9. Enjoy Yourself

    Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

    10. Drink A Lot Of Water

    This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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    11. Eat Less And More Often

    Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

    12. Prioritize Your Workouts

    Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

    So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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