Have a Healthy Holiday! Six Things You Can Do To Make It Happen - Kimberly Thompson

The problem with making healthy choices during the holidays isn’t lack of knowledge, it’s lack of motivation! It can be very hard in the moment to turn down stuff that isn’t on your eating plan, or scrape yourself out of bed to go to the gym. So, I’ve put together a set of six modest things you can do between now and the new year to stay on track with your health goals. As the Crusader of Anti-Perfectionism (I’m hoping for a sparkly cape in my stocking this year, haha), I believe firmly that setting modest goals will keep you motivated. You will feel good about meeting those goals, and you might even find yourself exceeding them!

     1) Put a fence around your food indulgences. Give yourself a certain amount of permission to enjoy special food and drink during this season, but not free rein. An example would be: You don’t drink eggnog every day just because it’s available in the grocery store. (That stuff is so delicious, but it’s a heart attack in a glass). Instead, limit yourself to one cup on Christmas Eve. Or, you allow yourself to eat without counting calories only on Christmas Day. Right up until then, you follow your regular healthy eating style, and you go right back to it on December 26. At any rate, don’t allow seasonal indulgences to go on for days or weeks.

     2) Plan physically active ways to celebrate. This might include ice skating if you live in the city; walks in the woods or splitting firewood are good choices if you’re celebrating in the country. Add those things to your regular exercise routine.

     3) For every alcoholic drink, or nonalcoholic eggnog, drink a large glass of water. Keep a variety of decaffeinated teas and coffees available as a part of your celebration. Be respectful of anyone in your family that is struggling with, or recovering from, alcohol abuse by not exposing them to temptation. This will also make the celebration more pleasant, if no one is overindulging and becoming obnoxious.

     4) Set aside quiet time daily. If you have not yet taken up meditation, this is a good time to start. If you normally have a prayer and devotional time, stick to it diligently. Put in your earbuds and listen to Christmas music, spa music, or nature sounds. Keep your soul healthy.

     5) Get out in the sun whenever the weather is nice. Protect yourself from sunburn (the reflection of the sun off snow can be especially burning), but don’t neglect to get out in the winter sun whenever it shows itself. It is good for your mood and good for your sleep.

     6) Get enough sleep, but get it during the darkest hours of the night. Alcohol may make you sleepy but you won’t sleep as deeply or as well. Prepare for bedtime by unplugging from the phone, engaging in a relaxing nighttime ritual, and avoiding excitement or aerobic exercise for an hour before lights out.

     That’s it! Most of these things only require a little thought or planning to pull off. Pat yourself on the back if you get them done – because you are well on your way to a healthy New Year.

     If you prefer to see this message in video form, please visit The Mommy Mentor Facebook page. I recently presented this material as a Facebook Live.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.