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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

How to Mindfully Indulge and Be Healthy During the Holidays 

Dec 01, 2023 12:00AM ● By Samantha Link
Tis the season for all things festive, from family and friend get-togethers with lots of food and goodies, to holiday obligations and to-do lists. It is also a time to easily overindulge and stray away from our normal health and wellness routine. Here are a few tips to mindfully indulge and stay healthy this holiday season.

Practice Mindful Eating

Let go of the notion that you need to eat only boring foods, deprive yourself, or indulge with a side of guilt this holiday season. Instead, practice mindful eating and enjoy a few holiday treats while staying aware of the body’s cues. The American Diabetes Association defines mindful eating as “an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food.”

Savor Each Bite and Engage the Senses: Take time to appreciate the flavors, textures and aromas of food. Chew slowly and completely before taking another bite.

Crowd Out Your Plate: Fill your plate with a variety of nutrient-rich foods like colorful salads, seasonal veggies, heart-healthy fats and lean proteins.

Listen to The Body: Pay attention to the body’s hunger and fullness cues. Stop eating when satisfied, before you are uncomfortably full.

Be Kind to Yourself: Know that it is okay to indulge in your favorite holiday treats. The key is moderation and being mindful of your choices.

Slow Down and Stay Active

We know the holidays are busy, and that it is easy to get swept away in a holiday fog. Taking time to slow down and stay active during the holidays is essential for our mental and physical well-being.

Breathe: When feelings distressed or panicked, take a moment to pause and breathe. Listen to what the body is telling you.

Move: Do not neglect movement. Try to maintain a weekly exercise routine if you have one, or simply take a walk. According to Medicine in Motion, “Walking for 30 minutes a day can increase your cardiorespiratory health, improve bone mineral density, alleviate symptoms of depression and fatigue, reduce the risk of some cancers, and the likelihood of developing type two diabetes.”

Prioritize Sleep and Hydration

Make a conscious effort this holiday season to get enough sleep and to drink more water. Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night has a wide range of benefits for overall health. Try setting a consistent bedtime and wake time. Perhaps keep a sleep journal next to the bed or try a sleep tracker.

Staying hydrated is just as important as getting enough sleep. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men consume about 15.5 cups of fluids a day and women drink about 11.5 cups daily. Downloading apps like My Fitness Pal or Waterlogged can help keep to stay accountable and track progress, especially during the chaos of the holidays.

Remember, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. It is okay to indulge. The key is to be mindful and intentional of our choices and actions.

Samantha Drum, certified 200-YTT & NASM personal trainer, is the co-owner of VIBE Yoga Health & Fitness, in Waukesha. For more information, visit or email [email protected].