It's almost the most wonderful time of the year! We know that with all the fun comes a lot of stress along with it. We're welcoming our friend Jasmine McCarthy to the blog today to give us her favorite tips and tricks to keep your cool and stick with your routine during the holiday season. You're going to want to check it out, trust us!
Jasmine McCarthy (she/her) is a fitness and wellness professional that runs a virtual fitness platform on jmacbeautywellness.com and hosts livestream and on-demand workouts ranging in modality and length. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and twin Pomsky pups, who you may meet if you take one of her online classes.
"The holidays are stressful enough between travel, parties, gifting, family gatherings and extra engagement responsibilities. With this year’s addition of still being in a global pandemic, dealing with vaccinated vs. unvaccinated “social rules” and the possible pressure from out of town family to be “home for the holidays,” you may be feeling more uneasy as they approach than ever before.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve used this past year and a half to really dial into things you want, things that serve you and things that make you happy while ditching (as much as possible) the rest. You’ve carved out your perfect morning and/or evening routine, you have a movement routine in place and maybe you have even made a big change such as sobriety or becoming a vegetarian. Whatever shifts your life has taken over this time, the thought of having a tried and true holiday season filled with family, travel, food, drink and parties that we used to partake in annually may be more daunting than you remember.
As a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, small business owner and self-proclaimed self care aficionado, I have assembled my 5 biggest tips to maintain a routine that makes you feel grounded, energized, powerful and happy through anything this holiday season may throw your way.
Stick To Your Sleep Schedule. As easy as it is to stay up late or want to sleep in because it’s a “holiday,” you will feel more regulated if you stay as close to your normal sleep schedule as possible, especially if you’re eating differently and drinking more than usual. Maybe you let yourself hit snooze once more than you normally would. Pro tip: just keep your alarms set.
Move Your Body, and Invite Others To Join You. It feels as though every studio out there is using a virtual platform these days so you have no excuse to not be able to do your favorite workout while traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s as long as she has great WiFi. If you are part of a big family holiday stay, invite others to join in with your camera off so no one feels embarrassed or uncomfortable. If you prefer in person classes or a gym, most places around the country have an intro rate of FREE so do a little bit of research beforehand and explore some spots around the place you’ll be staying. Pro tip: resistance bands are a great piece of at home equipment that add no additional weight or bulk to your luggage.
Pack Items That Make Your Life Easier… such as foods and beverages you like to have on hand, vitamins and supplements, fitness equipment (see above pro tip), electronics, etc. Obviously, if you are flying somewhere this becomes a bit more challenging, however instacart and amazon deliver just about everywhere so plan ahead instead of making excuses and feeling gross because you don’t have your normal Apres beverages, among other items you’re used to consuming daily. Pro tip: use collapsible containers to make additional space on your return trip.
Offer To Cook A Meal (or part of one). This ensures that you can be in control of at least part of your nutritional intake and doubles as quality time spent with other family members or friends who normally take the responsibility of cooking. Not a self proclaimed chef? Let people know ahead of time if you have certain restrictions or food sensitivities. Being open about your food needs will take away any last minute frustrations on everyone’s part that could lead to unnecessary stress and keep you in your happy place. Pro tip: Don’t feel like you HAVE to eat Aunt Janet’s sweet potato casserole if you don’t want to. You are still in charge of what you eat, and if you’re anything like me, eating something to make someone else feel good isn’t worth the stomach ache I will have later.
Drop The Guilt. About all of it. Let yourself eat what you choose, go on a walk with your family instead of the HIIT workout, take a nap and most of all STAY PRESENT. Ultimately, whatever your plans are and wherever you travel, you will enjoy yourself more if you lose guilt over what you do or do not do. Pro tip: communicate your plans with your loved ones early and with the intention of keeping yourself sane. My family has no interest in having me lose my mind because I didn’t get to yoga, and neither does yours."
Check out more from Jasmine! Her socials: