As the holiday season approaches, many of us find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of festivities, indulgent meals, and tempting treats. It's easy to leave healthy habits behind not on purpose, but because there's so much to do we sometimes forget, and that's okay. However, many enter this spiral where just because they made one bad decision, the next one becomes more "acceptable" and that leaves us feeling bloated, sick and unhappy sometimes. The old solution? Wait until 2024 to start over. But what if we approached this time of year with a different mindset? What if we saw it as an opportunity to practice self-love and make choices that honor our bodies? Our solution: a reverse advent calendar.
What is a reverse advent calendar?
Instead of waiting until the new year to make resolutions and see our decisions as worthy of prize or punishment, let's change that mindset now. A reverse advent calendar, where each day we leave behind an unhealthy habit and replace it with a healthier one. This is not about deprivation or punishment; it's about choosing health and happiness over guilt. The Reverse Advent Calendar we propose is compiled of 3 parts:
1. Mindful eating during the holidays
One of the most powerful ways to practice self-love during the holidays is through mindful eating. Instead of mindlessly devouring every treat in sight, take a moment to pause and ask yourself, is it nourishing for my body? How will I feel physically after? By being present and intentional with our food choices, we can savor each bite and make decisions that align with our health goals.
That will look different to everybody. Maybe sugar is what upsets your stomach (it is in most cases) or the alcohol or maybe it's the extra piece of turkey when you're already full. And if you do end up feeling worse after, your meals, the best way to proceed is simply to feel, understand, and move on. The next day, these decisions will be more clear and easier to make.
2. Stabilizing the glucose spike
We have several articles talking about the importance about stabilizing blood sugar as well as tips to start implementing right away. As a summary, stabilizing blood sugar helps enhance energy, improve mood, manage weight, improve concentration, reduce the risk to several health diseases, and much more. In general terms, having a balanced diet, maintaining regular physical activity, and mindful eating are the best way to help maintain stable blood sugar.
3. Prioritizing mental health
As you might already know, endorphins are those chemicals our body produces that act as natural painkillers and mood boosters. During the holidays our body is sometimes put through a lot of stress and pressure, thankfully, there are ways in which we can help release those endorphins. Moving our bodies and exercising is one of them, so is laughter and even certain foods such as, you guessed it, dark chocolate! These neurotransmitters help boost mood and reduce stress, helping us feel happier and more relaxed.
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By approaching healthy habits as a form of self-love rather than punishment, we can transform the way we navigate the holiday season. Let's use this reverse advent calendar as a guide to make small, sustainable changes each day. Remember, it's not about perfection; it's about progress. So, let's embark on this adventure together and make this holiday season one filled with self-love, mindful choices, and a celebration of our bodies.