As I mentioned last week, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, we are all thinking about love in some form. Whether it be a significant other, another family member, a crush, or even simply disliking the holiday… Let’s just accept the facts, we know it’s coming and it is probably on our minds.
What I feel is most important is loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Even if we have a loved one to spend the holiday or our time with, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.
One of our biggest downfalls as human beings is stressing out. We’re constantly bombarded by anything and everything, we have mountains and mountains of work not to mention our home life to juggle, or we simply feel overwhelmed about life in general.
Here are some things you can do pretty much anywhere or anytime to de-stress when life is causing you to feel overwhelmed for whatever reason:
Write. Journal, blog, or jot a few notes down on a piece of paper to work through what you’re feeling. It’s quick and it helps a ton. Not only are you organizing your thoughts, but writing and rereading what you wrote can help you discover new things or come to realizations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Read. Grab your favorite book or any good book and start reading it. It could be a novel, a self-help book, a real life story, anything that you find pleasing. Reading is relaxing because it gets you out of your own mind and into another world. While you’re taking a mental vacation between the pages, your mind can process other thoughts and feelings, which in turn helps you work through your feelings and calm down.
Listen to music. This one can be a given to a lot of us, but even though I love music, sometimes I can forget that it’s such a stress reliever. Pump up your favorite tunes, turn on your favorite radio station, or watch music videos. Sing along and even dance along, let those tunes carry you away!
Take a walk or workout. Taking a walk in the fresh air or getting a workout in can allow you to work through your thoughts and feelings as well. You can take out your frustration or disappointment and work super hard in your workout. Going for a walk is great too as it’s another way to get outside of your head while still allowing your mind to work through things.
Call a friend. Do you have a buddy you like to talk to when you need to just get it all out? Call, email, or message them. A true friend will always be there for you, as a listening ear or to give you advice if you want it (or sometimes when you don’t want it). Talking through things allows you to hear things from another perspective, out loud as well as through feedback from your friend.
Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Grab or print a coloring page and something to color with and start coloring. It is really therapeutic. It allows you to zone out and do something with both your mind and hands that is constructive. Your pictures do not even have to be pretty for this to work. If you think this is something for you, I would also encourage you to go to the store and pick out a kids or adult coloring book and coloring utensils that make you excited to color: colored pencils, markers, crayons, colored pens, anything works!
Housework/organize. Work on cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your house, yard, or car. Making everything clean and fresh is remarkably refreshing to your mind as well!
Pamper yourself. Go see a movie on your own or with a friend/loved one, get your hair cut or colored, get your nails done, go to the library to spend some quiet time, visit a museum, spend some time in nature, or just do anything that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just give it some thought and pick something that works for you.
Play. Play with your kids or pets, or those of friends/family members. It will help release the inner kid in you and help you feel more carefree and alive! Trust me, it is fun! Be silly and throw yourself into it!
Hot shower/bath. Water therapy. Take a nice relaxing bath if you can, or a hot shower. If you have access to a pool or hot tub, those can be amazingly relaxing as well. Whatever floats your boat!
My personal favorites are walking, writing, and reading. If I’m really antsy or anxious, putting myself to work picking up the house or organizing things helps me too. It gives me something to do physically that betters my world in some way! I also love to pamper myself whenever I get the chance to.
What is your favorite way to de-stress when you feel overwhelmed?
You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.
This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):
How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?
Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:
Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time: Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
Stay focused on your goals: Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
Find supportive support: Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
Create a motivation board just for winter: Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal: There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.
Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:
Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!
What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?
Here are some warm comfort foods that are healthy, or at least lower calorie:
Hot cocoa, add in some mini marshmallows which are low calorie and you’ve got yourself a treat!
Coffee, just be sure what you’re adding to it is low in calories and not high sugar/fat. Some ideas are nut milks, cinnamon, and honey.
Hot tea (same goes for what you add as above).
Oatmeal or cream of wheat
Toast or English muffin: as long as you don’t put a ton of butter or something else on your them, whole grain/wheat toast is a healthy warm food. English muffins are also somewhat lower in calories than some other breakfast foods and if you toast them can also make a nice comforting, warm food.
Soups (make sure to check the nutrition label for sodium though!)
Grilled cheese sandwiches with whole grain/wheat bread and minimal butter.
Healthy lasagna (the opportunities are endless with this, look for some recipes).
Meatloaf made healthily, again there are many recipes for this online.
Crockpot meals: there are so many recipes out there for this as well.
Popcorn (yes, popcorn is a healthier snack choice than some snacks, just be careful of all the additives such as butter or salt).
It’s good to spend some time just chilling too: curling up with a good book and a hot cup of your choice beverage. That is an ultimate comfort for a lot of us. So cozy! Time spent putting your own wellbeing first is time well spent, and very healthy. You can also cuddle with pets, your kids, or other loved ones. I love snuggling with my nephews on a cold morning, it helps warm me warm up faster and also keeps them warm which is true of pets and other loved ones as well. It’s a mutually beneficial activity!
The more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. Of course this is only temporary, but at least you’re killing two birds with one stone: getting warmer and burning calories! Plus you also get things done as well, which means you’re multitasking, such as cleaning or other housework or even getting your exercise in!
Imagine popping in a good movie to watch, with a bowl of popcorn (portioned out so you know how much you’re eating)… maybe even some hot tea or coffee to drink… curled up with loved ones or even by yourself. So comfortable and cozy!
What is your favorite way to stay warm and feel cozy during the winter? Mine is curling up with a book and just letting the story take me away. It helps me to not think of the freezing weather outside!
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Today I am bringing you winter fitness tips. It can be quite hard to continue your exercise plan as the weather gets colder and colder. You’re used to warm weather and being able to get out more. Now all of a sudden it’s dark earlier, cutting your available exercise time even shorter. Not to mention the chilly air and low temperatures. Those can really present a challenge for many of us.
First of all, if you’re going to exercise outdoors, bundle up and layer your clothes too. I personally like to do a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a coat when it’s super cold. Also try leggings under your pants, or use thermal underwear to wear under your clothes. Plus a hat, gloves, and scarf as necessary.
Ideally you should get exercise clothes that wick away moisture (sweat) to keep you warmer. However, if you’re like me and even bundled up can’t manage to spend much time outside, regular clothes work just fine.
If it’s icy outside, be extra careful. Shoes with good traction in the treads are necessary, maybe even good fitting snow boots specifically for walks in the snow/ice would be beneficial. Walking sticks might be a good option as well.
Now obviously you can choose to exercise indoors as well:
Join a gym. If you want to and can afford it, this is a valid option. Weigh the pros and cons though. If you feel you really will go and will make it a priority, then invest. If not, then choose some alternative exercise options. You don’t want to waste money.
Exercise videos: stock up on exercise videos that interest you, either physical DVDs/discs or online subscription, or even free services such as On Demand or YouTube!
Dance around your house. You can do this anytime, with children or pets or some other loved one… or even by yourself! It’s very versatile. You can even dance with or without music. Let the moves just carry you away.
Walking in place. You can do this almost literally anywhere. If you have pedometer or fitness tracker, set a goal for yourself… or set a time minimum instead. Use the timer on your phone to make sure you’re moving for a certain amount of time.
Get more steps in everyday life. Be “inefficient.” Take extra steps to accomplish your daily chores in order to increase your activity. Instead of grabbing as much as you can to carry in one trip (such as laundry or grocery bags), take them one at a time. It adds up, trust me!
Small equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, hula hoops, mini trampoline, step up stool, a small stepper, and sometimes even a stationary bike are smaller and take up less room to store in your house except at times of use.
Clean or organize! You can certainly work up quite a sweat and get your heartrate up just by cleaning and organizing your house. Clean and organize in stages if necessary, but use the things you don’t do on a daily or weekly basis as exercise! Plus all extra activity is a great idea and good for your health! It’s hard work physically and you also get the added bonus of a clean and orderly house!
Mall walking. Grab a friend to go walking around the mall just to get your walking in… or even go by yourself! Depending on the size of your mall, you can get quite a few steps in just walking a couple loops!
There you have it, some tips to at least get you started and/or get the mental juices flowing.
Do you have a plan for winter exercise? If so, what is it? If not, do these tips help you?
Here are some tips for your holiday exercise plan this week:
If it works for you, plan your rest day for Thanksgiving instead of your usual day, and then just try to make the day as active as you can.
Plan your day ahead of time: making a rough schedule to fit your exercise in around cooking or interaction with others. We all know holidays can be so hectic that we lose track of time or forget to take care of ourselves as well as everyone else.
Fit your exercise in early in the day so that you aren’t totally exhausted when you try to do it later. You might prefer to get your exercise in before everyone else wakes up if you have company or small children, otherwise just get it done before all the cooking and festivities start.
Walk or dance in place while you cook… just be careful not to scald yourself!
Make exercise a family/group activity. Play sports or games outdoors if you can, or break out active games or videos to do indoors. Go for a walk with one or more family/friends. Basically anything that gets your family or group moving instead of sitting and lounging the whole time is a good idea!
If you need a breather from the holiday festivities, take your dog for a walk… or take your host’s dog for a walk if you don’t have one and your host does. It is a legitimate excuse to get away and fit some exercise in, while also allowing you a breather from everything else going on.
Most of all, just do your best to fit in your fitness and don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you don’t for some reason. Eat moderately, indulge a little bit (after all it’s Thanksgiving!) and realize that it’s just one day. In the grand scheme of things this one day where you will likely go over your calorie allotment is okay.
What are your exercise plans for the holidays? Since I’m not doing anything the day of and my family doesn’t seem to be holding an actual Thanksgiving meal, I will likely just go about exercise as normal. Not to mention the fact that I will be babysitting my nephews all day that day anyway.
I hope you all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING tomorrow! Be as healthy as possible, but also be flexible and enjoy the day!
Don’t forget to keep your eye out for a post on Thursday afternoon/evening for the 48-hour sale codes on my Be the Best You products!
Thanksgiving, well any holiday really, can just get so chaotic and crazy that we forget that we still need to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves as sane as possible. I have put together some tips that I have found helpful in times of chaos in my life and hope they help you during the holidays!
Some of these are geared towards weight loss and healthy living:
Find time for yourself. Put yourself first, first, so that you are better equipped to handle the rest of the holiday. So get up early and decompress before the day even starts if you feel you might need to! Do it before you need it so badly that you end up exploding later.
Run away. If at all possible, find a place to hide in the middle of the chaos. A quiet room, outside, even the bathroom might do the trick. Take the time to just take a deep breath and think, or just exist for a moment! We all need a breather once in a while.
Pace yourself. Realize that you don’t have to do all or be all to have a good holiday. Just focus on doing your best.
Plan ahead. Prepare food ahead of time if you can. Think ahead today and figure out what you can make the day or two before Thanksgiving so that you don’t have to cook it all at once. That way it isn’t as frantic when the time comes.
While you’re at it, make a game plan for your meal. Stick with veggies or fruit for 1/3-1/2 of your plate. Then turkey or other meat 1/4-1/3 of your plate. Then a little bit of each of the foods you really want to have such as mashed potatoes, a roll, and/or a small piece of dessert.
Estimate calories. Make educated guesses on anything you don’t know the exact calorie content of. Google how many calories in whatever Thanksgiving dish it is. Do your best to stick to that. This way you can plan the rest of your meals and snacks around it for that day.
Don’t expect to be in your calorie range. You almost definitely won’t be in your calorie range… and that’s totally okay! Do your best to minimize the damage but just enjoy the holiday and time with family without worrying about it too much.
Do not deprive yourself! I repeat, do not deprive yourself of your favorite Thanksgiving foods. That is almost a sure fire way to sabotage yourself. Pick the things you really want to eat, for example what Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without, and have a small helping of it!
If you’re not already, sign up for the weekly newsletter: Be the Best You: The Insider for more stress/emotional eating tips. Click here to subscribe: Be the Best You Newsletter. This time of year can be really hard. Why not arm yourself with action steps to use when you really need them! Subscribe to the newsletter and you will automatically be emailed download information for The Blast Emotional Eating Guide (#TheBEEGuide)! It’s completely free and lists nine great ways to combat stress and other emotions that may make you feel like you want to eat everything in sight!