The holiday season is officially here, and with it comes delicious foods and lavish feasts that can sometimes create challenges that impact your fitness routines or healthy eating habits. Our ShokzStar Krista Lee shares a few ways to practice mindful eating and exercising during the holiday season so you can stay focused on achieving your health and wellness goals.
The holiday season is upon us, and I imagine that it will look different this year due to the pandemic. Family and office gatherings may be reduced in number due to social distancing, or they may even be held on Zoom. Because things are likely to be different, it can cause a certain amount of stress, which can lead to a lack of motivation to continue eating healthy or following your daily exercise routine. Let me offer a solution to this new challenge: Self-care is the answer, a concept that is simple in theory but complicated in application.
Self-care can be described as a planned activity that focuses on mental, emotional, and/or physical health. Mental and emotional self-care activities often focus on mindfulness and can look like journaling, mindful eating practices, or even meditation. I have personal experience in two of those practices specifically, and I’m here to share a few tips to help you practice on your own.
Tips For Practicing Mindful Eating
What exactly is mindful eating? Healthline.com defines mindful eating as "eating that stresses the importance of focusing on the present moment and being aware of your senses while consuming food." When practicing mindful eating, consider these useful following techniques:
1) Eat only when you are hungry. If you're not experiencing this feeling, you could just be feeding your appetite, which is often an unhealthy coping mechanism for boredom, stress, or anxiety.
2) Think about what you are feeling. Noticing your emotions while eating will help you understand the types of emotions surrounding your relationship with food. This technique is best achieved when you journal. When journaling your feelings while eating, consider the following questions: What emotions are surfacing during the meal? Are you eating due to sadness, stress, or anxiety? What do you think are causing these emotions?
These are challenging but straightforward questions that can help you regain a healthy relationship with food because eating should be a pleasurable activity. Remember the old saying “you are what you eat?” We should avoid a few items during this season, such as sugary snacks and sodas, fast food, and chips (my favorite). Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
How To Be Mindful When Exercising
We can also practice self-care and mindfulness when working on our physical health through activities like exercise, yoga, and meditation. With everything else that's going on in your life, how can you find the time to keep up with your fitness routine during the holidays? You may have to reduce the duration of your workout, but even 10 minutes a day is enough to get the endorphins flowing.
Begin your day with a 10-minute meditation or yoga session. To get the full benefits of your mindfulness practice, you have to rid yourself of all distractions. I would suggest downloading your mediation or sun salutation music onto the AfterShokz Xtrainerz open-ear headphones. Xtrainerz are designed with 4GB of internal music storage, eliminating the need to have your phone nearby, therefore cutting distractions.
Remember that self-care activities are things that we enjoy, so if meditation or yoga is not at the top of your list, but running is, download an upbeat running playlist or utilize the Nike Run Club Mindfulness playlist, lace up those shoes, and hit the pavement or the treadmill. Do you prefer swimming? Aftershokz Xtrainerz are also completely waterproof, so you can splash around to some upbeat music and swim away from the stress.
Whatever you choose to do for your mindfulness practice, the goal is to reduce stress and stay motivated. I hope these tips help encourage you to put yourself first and practice a little self-care this holiday season.