As we welcome in Easter I would also like to welcome you to adjust some of your holiday traditions to have a happier and healthier Easter. Here are some tips to help.
- Start a tradition of going for a walk after dinner. Spring is an exciting time of the year! Everyone is eager to get outside to enjoy the fresh air after a long and dreadful winter. Why not enjoy the outdoors as a group? After the meal is eaten and the dishes are done you may feel very sluggish and tired and wanting to sit on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Instead, go for a walk to increase your energy level. Going for a walk as a group can be a great way to socialize while exercising at the same time!
- Fill your eggs with things other than candy. One of the most enjoyed Easter activities is searching for eggs. Instead of filling all the eggs with candy think of other items that you could use instead. Some examples would be money, trinkets, stickers, Legos, or bracelets. Go to your local dollar store and search for small things to put in eggs. I predict that your “egg searchers” will enjoy the excitement of having different things in their eggs. Besides, opening your egg to find candy is so predictable!
- Find healthy snacks for car rides. Does most of your holiday weekend involve traveling in the car to get to your Easter Day celebration party? If so, skip the go-to car treats of chips and candy and instead resort to a healthier option. Why do we always pick chips and candy? These treats are quick to grab, no preparation time, and we know that all passengers are going to like the choices. However, sitting in a car and snacking will likely lead to overeating because we have a long time to snack and we forgot how to eat a reasonable portion when distracted by our favorite road trip playlist. Instead, try snack items such as a healthy trail mix, string cheese, apples, bananas, or granola bars. All of these items still have the convenience of junk food without all the unhealthy ingredients.
- Start with a healthy breakfast. We often set our mind to think if we are going to be eating a big meal later in the day that we should skip all the other meals prior so we “save room” for the main course. This is a dangerous theory. When we go to a holiday gathering hungry we will often resort to the high calorie, high fat, high sugar appetizers that fill the tables. By the time we get to the lunch or dinner portion of the day we are often already full. But does that stop us? Absolutely not! We can’t resist the amazing dishes that come with Easter. And I mean we only get to eat them once a year, right? Might as well over indulge today. This leads to a slippery slope where our mind will continue to make these excuses to overindulge much past the holiday celebration. Here’s a way to overcome this potential catastrophe. Start with a healthy breakfast that will fill you up. Perhaps an egg with whole grain toast or a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola. Having this breakfast will allow you to make healthier decisions and limit portions of appetizers and at meal time. Your stomach will thank you later.
- Re-evaluate wellness goals. Remember that goal that you set on New Years? How are you doing with that goal? Easter can serve as a great way to revisit those amazing goals that you set to see your progress. Were the goals you set at the beginning of the year realistic? Maybe you weren’t able to make it to the gym 5 times a week like you anticipated. Give yourself some grace and set a new, more realistic goal instead. If you couldn’t make it to the gym 5 times a week, maybe your new goal is to make it 3 times instead. Set new goals to continue to optimize your health.
P.S. Wellness goals do not always need to be related to physical health. Maybe your goal is to take 30 minutes a day for yourself to do things such as reading a book or journaling. Perhaps you could make a goal to get enough sleep every night. You may be surprised at how much these other aspects of wellness can directly affect your physical health.
Wishing you a healthier Easter.