When things get busy with the holiday season, don’t let your health and wellness fall by the wayside. Here are some tips to keep feeling (and looking) good during the Christmas to New Years stretch. This post is brought to you by Vital Proteins.
Hi friends! I’m coming at you from good ol’ Southwest Florida, where I arrived today with Dave and Rudy. We are thrilled to be spending Christmas with my fam in the Sunshine State.
Over the past month, I’ve been incredibly busy (much like you have, I’m sure), and I’ve tried to make it a point to put priority on my self-care to stay looking and feeling vital. When I get tired, stressed or overworked, sometimes I feel like I can see it in my face with drier skin and less overall shine … and don’t you know the energy levels drop too. But there’s a way to prevent that downer state, and I’ve been doing a good job of it this holiday season. That’s why I wanted to share my tactics with you, right before we hit that crazy week between Christmas and New Years. Because self-care can’t wait until January 1.
But first, what is vitality and why would you want to look it? The definition of vitality is mental and physical vigor and energy. And who doesn’t want that! Here’s how you can grab that vitality and keep it!
1. Start the day with a big glass of water
If you start every single morning with a huge glass of water (perhaps heated up with lemon in it too), you’re instantly beginning the rehydration process from a night of sleep, in which you haven’t been hydrating for hours. That first morning drink flushes your system and gets rid of any toxins that may have built up overnight. Because who wants to start the day with toxins?
Then, throughout the day, just drink more water. You can also throw in a cup of coffee or tea or coconut water as needed, and maybe even kombucha or cold-pressed juice.
Seriously though, tomorrow morning, I encourage you to get up, and go immediately to the kitchen to grab a big 16 ounce glass of water. Drink it all down and see if your day turns out better!
2. Practice self massage daily
You don’t have to shell out $100 bucks for a fancy massage at a spa to get some of the benefits of a relaxing touch. I’m a fan of using a foam roller for self-myofascial release on my muscles both before and after a workout for movement prep. However, using a foam roller can also bring about a little stress release, in the form of loosening up your connective tissue, opening up your chest and even supporting deep breathing. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can even use a lacrosse ball or these awesome yoga therapy balls like I have to massage underneath your feet for some benefits. How to do it? Just put a ball on the ground, stand up with one foot on the ball, and move your foot around on top of it. Instant foot massage. You can also put the lacrosse ball or the pair of therapy balls under your butt cheeks, quads or upper back on the ground to release some pressure points and feel better.
Promoting blood-flow, circulation and releasing tension is a must and a great way to support overall vitality.
3. Move around daily, perhaps with others
Movement is medicine! While you don’t have to do an hour of high-intensity exercise every single day during December, you should be moving every day. That means walking as much as possible (think about always parking your car in the furthest spot possible in a parking lot), taking a lunch-time loop around the building on a workday and definitely fitting in at least a few workouts a week.
If you want to look and feel your best, aim for at least 10 minutes of movement first thing in the morning outside to get some fresh air, then follow up with little spurts of activity throughout the day and a full workout. Bonus points for coordinating a family walk or game of sports or inviting friends to attend a group fitness class with you. If you want an idea of some short workouts you can do at home, here is a upper-body resistance band workout and three-move dumbbell workout. I always like to travel with a resistance band (like I did this trip), to make sure I have access to a piece of equipment for a strength workout too. Pumped muscles = more energy!
And when it comes to the actual day of Christmas or New Years — YES, work out! Those endorphins will put a smile on your face that stays there throughout the day. I know sometimes we say that we’ll get back on the workout wagon after January 1 passes, but the time is now, my friends!
4. Be grateful and show it
Did you know that some of the most beautiful people on the outside are the ones that have a nice welcoming smile and truly listen to others? If you want to feel good about yourself, one of the best things you can do is to treat others kindly. You will NEVER regret taking the high road, being generous to a stranger or doing a random act of kindness for somebody. And the very best way to be kind, is to start with a thankful and grateful mindset, of course.
Honestly, I can tell you that I struggle with optimism and practicing gratitude at times, but those days or moments when I do stop to think about what’s good about my life, I’m able to take that happiness and spread it to others. So let’s do this together: Come up with three things you are thankful for, remind yourself of those things each morning and then be extra sweet to anyone you come into contact with for the rest of the year, holding your personal gratitude top of mind.
Remember, beauty comes from within!
5. Add the rainbow and ditch the packaged goods
While I’m the first to say that I have never passed up a cheese-plate or piece of carrot cake, I’m also the first to admit that 85 percent of my meals are incredibly clean. I try to avoid packaged goods and make most of my food at home or bring it with me as much as I can.
Because the holiday season means extra parties and extra treats, you have to make sure that all of your others meals are making up for your splurges. What do I mean? Instead of skipping breakfast to have a big holiday lunch, start the start the day with a healthy omelet with veggies and eggs. Then, plan to have a dinner that is equally healthy. Think about ADDING colorful nutrients, rather than restricting calories in advance or after a party or big meal. And when you’re out shopping, please don’t get fast food. Just don’t!
It’s easy to have an “all or nothing day” approach to eating around the holidays, in which you consider a day ruined and then make other bad choices. But if you choose to nourish your body with good food most of the time and as much as possible, there’s nothing wrong with having cookies and wine at a holiday party. (But not too much wine, because we can all make that mistake sometimes, am I right?!)
6. Give yourself quality sleep
Sleep is everything. Enough said. If you want to hear more of my tips for sleep, check out this one I wrote after reading a whole book about improving your sleep. Keep the room cool, turn out all the lights, remove technology about an hour before bed and give yourself a fighting chance for at least seven quality hours each night. That extra task can wait until the morning, because your sleep should always come first!
I’ve been wearing a slumber mask the past few months, and I swear it helps me stay asleep longer. And it looks cool too. So that’s always an option for you if you want to feel extra cozy.
7. Supplement smartly, supplement daily
Supplements can get a bad rap. While you want most of your nutrients to come from real whole food sources, there are certainly some intelligent and safe ways to give your body a boost. I’m adamant about taking a whole-food based daily multivitamin, and I’m also adamant about taking a daily dose of collagen peptides. And I make sure not to miss a day of either of these things, to keep a constant stream in my body. Another beneficial supplement is Fish Oil too, by the way, which I’m not currently taking but have in the past.
The extra nutrients I take in outside of my food keep me energized, lively and looking healthy. Here’s so let’s talk briefly about collagen …
How I stay vital with collagen
Some of you may remember when I started supplementing with collagen in my life shortly after I returned from the IDEA World Fitness Convention and IDEA BlogFest in L.A. in July of this year. I was exposed to the Vital Proteins brand, and have become a major fan of everything the company does. Every morning, I put one scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides in my morning tea, for a huge dose of goodness. Since I’ve been taking collagen, I’ve noticed faster-growing and thicker hair, stronger nails and overall extra energy. And this is not because of anything expensive I’ve been applying to my skin (although you know I love using almond oil for the body and face!)
And to be totally honest, knowing that I’m taking an extra step each day to give my body an edge makes me pretty happy. I love the feeling of drinking down my morning tea with collagen and picturing it coating and supporting my insides. Is that weird?
So a little bit more about Vital Proteins … Vital Proteins just debuted a new Vanilla Collagen Peptide product made with organic coconut water, Madagascar vanilla bean, probiotics and natural hyaluronic acid. And that extra flavor boost is totally cool, as I was used to the unflavored one, which instantly dissolves in hot or cold liquid and can be mixed with food too. (So many ways to use it and get it into your daily routine!)
This product is amazing! It’s gluten-free, hormone-free, paleo-friendly, non-GMO and Whole30 approved as well. Just one serving has 20 grams of grass-fed, pasture-raised collagen protein per serving, and there are also additional probiotics. I mean, it’s totally worth the price tag, because it’s giving your body TONS of benefits.
Here’s why collagen is good for you …
- It promotes youthful skin, healthier hair and stronger nails
- It helps you get a deeper night of sleep
- It promotes a healthy immune and digestive system
- It supports strong and healthy bones
- It hydrates your skin
- It keeps you VITAL
While this time of year can be stressful, full of obligations and commitments, it can also be a time to focus in on your self-care before the new year even begins.
You know I’m all about balance, so I don’t want you thinking you can’t have any treats or fun, because you can. But you should also take time for yourself, stay hydrated and do whatever you can to rock that vitality. You’ve got this!
Have a wonderful day, weekend and Christmas, my dear friends. We’ll talk soon! I’m off to have a healthy meal with the fam and a big glass of wine!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. I received compensation and complimentary products, but all opinions are my own. Thank you SO much for supporting this awesome brand and A Lady Goes West.
Questions of the day
What’s your number one tip to stay vital?
What do you think you most need to work on?