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Welcome to HealthyHolidays!

 We’re putting you on the your holiday list this year!

The holiday season can be wonderful! But, they can also contain a lot of emotions - happiness, sadness, grief, disappointment, exhaustion, anxiety, and joy. And, that could describe just one day! :)

We’re going to work together to help put you on your list this year! We’ll work to make sure that you not only take care of yourself but do some of the things that mean most to you as well. Sometimes, in the rush of the season, the things that mean the most to us can get lost in the shuffle. We’ll answer 6 goal setting/thought provoking questions to help you guide yourself through the season. And, for the next 30 days, we’ll work together to keep you feeling good and lay the groundwork to enter the new year feeling strong.

Each week, you’ll receive 1 weekly challenge so you’re not overwhelmed by lots of new things to do. And, each day you’ll receive a daily tip or challenge. You’ll also have a portable workout each week that can give you a boost and a challenge whenever you need it. Our main focus is help you keep your healthy habits during the holiday season and maybe even start few new ones. After all, simply trying to keep up with healthy habits through such a busy time of the year is a challenge in itself!

With that being said, read on for your first weekly challenge, then answer 6 questions to help keep you on track this season and then maybe take a few minutes today to do your gratitude meditation. Since it’s Thanksgiving week, this seemed like the perfect week for a gratitude meditation! We’ll be talking about the meditation on another day this week too!

HealthyHolidays Toolbox

Your Toolbox contains:

Your 5 - 10 Minute Anywhere Workout

Your first HealthyHolidays Weekly Challenge focuses on sleep!

You may be thinking, “Wow. I didn’t realize what a breeze this program was going to be. I just have to go to sleep.” Yes, this is the challenge for this week! And, if you’re like many people, this is tougher than it sounds. Sleep is one of the most critical pieces of our well-being and the piece of our well-being . Sleep is also typically the first thing to get taken off the our plates when we're overwhelmed and busy. And, if you're a mom with kids at home, this is even a bigger challenge.

Why is sleep so important to our well-being? Sleep does many things!

  • Sleep increases our ability to handle everyday stressors and boosts our focus and mood.

  • Sleep increases our memory and productivity.

  • Sleep boosts our immune system and helps our muscles repair. In terms of physical activity and training, sleep and rest days are just as important to your success as what your training regimen is.

  • Sleep also helps control our weight! When we have not had enough sleep, our levels of the appetite inducing hormone ghrelin increase and leptin, the hormone that tells us to eat less, decreases.

  • We also tend to have crave and reach for sources of quick energy like sugar and simple carbohydrates making it harder to make good dietary choices.

In short, sleep helps us make good choices and helps us feel good while we do it!

So how much should sleep should we plan on each night? The recommendation for healthy adults is to aim for 7 - 8 hours of sleep. You can work up to this gradually by making small changes if this feels overwhelming. Be sure to maintain more than 5 hours per night. Why? Research has shown that our bodies tend to gain more weight on less than 5 hours of sleep. Also, do your best not to eat your main meal close to bed. Not only does our digestion slow by up to 50 % when we’re sleeping but high protein foods can take a longer time to digest and disrupt our sleep. If you need a snack before bed, reach for a 100 -200 calorie whole grain carbohydrate which also may help boost our serotonin levels which can help us sleep.

Our challenge this week is to set a bedtime! It may sound funny but the night can easily get away from us and setting a bedtime keeps us focused. If you're like most people, you may have the best of intentions of going to sleep early but then you binge watch one more show on netflix or read another chapter of your book and suddenly it's late! So today, I challenge you to set your bedtime early in the day so you can plan out your evening accordingly and make sure you're catching those zzzs! Then tomorrow, notice how you feel when you're more rested. Tomorrow’s success often depends on today’s choices.

When you set your bedtime, work backwards from the time that you have to wake up the next day. Be sure to allow time to get ready for bed and time to fall asleep.

Here are some steps you can take to develop a sleep time routine. 

  • A warm bath or shower relaxes our bodies.

  • A happy story promotes happy thoughts. So avoid upsetting conversations or news programs too close to bed can have the opposite effect and actually boost levels of stress hormones like cortisol in our body.

  • Try dimming the 30 to 60 minutes before you want to go to sleep to promote the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.

  • If you’re lying in bed for more than 15 minutes, try getting up and doing something else. Or, try listening to something mindless.

  • Exercise each day. This is a critical piece to snoozing peacefully. Try our 5 to 10 Minute Workout Challenge this week.

If you need some more ideas or have specific questions about sleep challenges, please drop me a line so I can offer up some specific ideas to help you.

Sleep well! And, good luck with your first HealthyHolidays Challenge! Don’t forget to check-off each day that you complete the challenge on your checklist!

Your Holiday Season Game Plan

Wondering why we're setting goals? Simply put, if we don't take control of our holiday seasons, the holiday season will take control of us. By setting, writing and sharing our goals with someone (me), we're much more likely to achieve them.  

You can do this exercise by following along here or downloading the sheet above from your toolkit.

Take 5 minutes and answer the following questions. Try not to think too long about each answer. Also, don't worry if some of your answers overlap, if you have more or less than the number of items asked for or if you change your mind down the road. You can respond directly to this email with your goals.

 6 Goal-Setting Questions:

  1. What are 3 things that I want to do this season that would make me happy?

  2. What are 3  things that I am going to do this season to take care of myself and my own well-being?

  3. Who are 3 - 5 people that I want to spend time with this season?

  4. Helping someone or spreading 'cheer' makes someone else and ourselves feel good. What is one thing that I want to do for someone else this season? 

  5. What is one thing that I would like to say 'no' to this season? 

  6. When I begin to feel stress this season, what calming phrase or mantra am I going to repeat to myself? 

That's it. You've now set your goals for the season!