4 Tips to Survive the Holidays

Being a parent of young children during the holiday season can mean very busy — sometimes chaotic — days. This is supposed to be a wonderful time of year, not stressful.  

How do you find time to workout with all the "to-dos" that come this time of year, stay calm and still spend quality time with your family?

Here are four tips I found have helped me through the holiday season.

  1. Set a Realistic Goal:

    Knowing it's a busy time of year, you may need to revise your workout plan. Think quality rather than quantity. My goal for the next two months is to try to work out 3 days a week, for 45-60 minutes.

    I try to do a variety of strength training workouts and cross-training such as running, spinning and swimming. If I am able to do more, great, but if not, I don't worry.  

  2. Be Creative With Your Time:

    If you are finding it difficult to find time to exercise, then work out with your children. Need to go Christmas shopping? Go to the mall for an hour or so before it opens and walk around outside with your kids (maybe bring the hand weights to increase the intensity). Or, go to a local gym and play basketball or swim at an indoor pool.

    My children are involved at our local YMCA, so I work out while they are doing their activities. I really enjoy being able to swim while they take their lessons because I can still watch them.

  3. Stick to a Routine:

    As much as possible, try to have a general schedule for your days. You and your family will be much happier if you do. Don't think you need "to do it all." You'll be surprised how much your kids would love to help with the baking, wrapping and decorating. You may have a little extra time here and there if you let them help, and more importantly, you'll be making great memories with them.

  4. Take Care of Yourself:

    It's so easy to get stressed with all the shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping and partying, but remember to breathe and relax. As much as possible, strive for 7-8 hours of sleep a night, drink plenty of water and continue to eat well.

    It's okay to enjoy holiday parties, just don't indulge in ALL those sweet treats. Have a taste, then move on to something a bit healthier. Don't forget to set time to exercise; you'll feel much better.

Follow these tips for a stress-free and joyous season with your family.

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