5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Balance During the Holidays

Alright, so many of you already know that I am a FitFluential Ambassador. In case you didn’t already know, FitFluential is an amazing network of fitness peeps who share a passion for living a healthy life. As an ambassador, often times we’ll get optional mini assignments on things we can share with you. I’ve missed out on the past few, since I was spending most of my free time studying for my exam. But for this week’s assignment – sharing tips on how to achieve a healthy balance during the holidays – I’ve got the time!

I know I already talked a bit about staying on track during the holidays, but I love talking about keeping balance, so here are a few more tips that I like to keep in mind during the ‘hustle and bustle’ of  the holiday season.

5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Balance During the Holidays

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

I don’t know about you guys, but this is one that I’ve struggled with off and on for years and honestly, I think it’s probably the most important of them all. This time of year, many of us are always “go-go-go,” but it’s so necessary to remember to refuel with enough ZZZ’s. Sleep affects so many aspects of our lives, especially appetite and mood, and If I don’t get enough sleep, then, umm, you probably don’t want to be around me.

2. Schedule in Exercise


For the past month, my schedule has been jam-packed: work, holiday parties, cookie-baking marathons, time with friends. But also included in that schedule are my workouts. Lucky for me, I’m a morning exerciser, which makes it a bit easier for me to squeeze in my workouts for the week. I go to bed every night knowing exactly what my exercise is going to be for the following day, which makes a world of difference not only for my organization, but for my sanity too.

Also, don’t forget – you don’t have to do it all at once! Research has shown that doing three 10-minute workouts during the day are just as- if not MORE- beneficial as doing one 30-minute bout. I’m pretty sure we’ve all got at least 10 minutes in our day, right?! 😉

3. Be Picky!

Whenever I go out to a party or am at an event where there are lots of food options, I try to utilize my “top 5” rule. Now don’t get me wrong, I am human and this doesn’t always work for me. But for the most part, it has proven to be pretty helpful. Basically, I scope out the scene and see what’s available. If there are options that I either a) could make myself, b) wouldn’t usually go crazy about, or c) have pretty often, then I’ll pass on those. But if there are foods and/or drinks available that I wouldn’t normally make, buy, or choose, then I’ll go for ’em.

I also try to be picky about the quality of the food, especially when it comes to baked goods. I (almost) always pass on the store-bought cookies and/or cupcakes in favor of the homemade goods. If I’m going to indulge in some treats, then I want it to be the real deal!

4. Prioritize Your To-Do’s

I love making lists. I always have. So it’s inevitable that I end up with a to-do list every day that almost never gets fully completed. At first, this used to really bother me. I’d feel like a total slacker. But then I realized that I was putting things on my to-do lists that could definitely wait for another day. So now, I may make a list with 10 items, but I know that I need to prioritize that list and work from the most important, to the least important. I’ll bet if you take a look at your to-do’s today, there’s a few things that could wait.

5. Allow Some Indulgences


This is something that is absolutely necessary for me during this time of year. Holidays come with treats…treats should be enjoyed…they should not be inhaled in large quantities every single day, though! Remember, it’s all about balance.

Now…you tell me!

Question for the Afternoon:

What would be some of your “Top 5” tips for keeping a healthy balance during the holidays?


  1. says

    Great list! Mine would probably look the same as well. I would also add; drink plenty of water. During the week I have no issues with this, but on the weekends I do. Let’s face it, most of these parties and get togethers during the holidays are gonna be on the weekend. I could go all day and not drink one drop because I “busy” myself with other things.
    I love the balance part. I also have others around me to hold me accountable too!
    Brandi @ Fitness Faith and Laughter recently posted..It’s A Good Morning!

  2. says

    I totally agree with you on ALL of your 5 tips! Plus, I would add, if you’re going to a holiday party, don’t go on an empty stomach! eat something beforehand so you don’t overindulge when you arrive!

    I love you blog and I’d really appreciate it if you would check out my blog!
    Dani recently posted..Workout Wednesday

  3. says

    i love all your tips! i couldn’t agree more with them. sleep is definitely in my top 5, as my motivation, healthy eating, and quality of workouts go out the window if i don’t get enough sleep. not to mention, i get pretty crabby! i also just try to make my workouts a priority even through the craziness of the holidays. my morning workouts help me get in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..WIAW {What I Ate Wednesday} #12: Trying To Stay On Track

  4. says

    As always…wonderful post! My top 5 would be (just for me personally)
    1. Remember to relax (often times the hustle and bustle gets to me)
    2. Think like a child (they have boundless energy, try all the foods they love…don’t eat the ones they hate…_
    3. Remember to socialize with the *entire* family, because it is generally appreciated!
    4. Eat desert. Drink TONS of water
    5. Remember the reason for the season :)
    Claire recently posted..Weekend Activities

  5. says

    Great tips!! I am a huge list maker as well, I have to PLAN otherwise it never gets done. I’d have to add “drink lots of water” to the list as well. For me, if I overindulge, I feel like drinking water flushes out all of the bad stuff. (whether it does or not is the question) Plus water keeps your hydrated and feeling fuller, to combat the overeating. (however, I still seem to do it) :)
    Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts recently posted..Me and My Heart Rate

  6. says

    Ever since December 1st, I have done a 25 days of Christmas on my blog, giving a tip everyday on how to stay healthy and balanced during the holidays.

    My favorite tip is to remember that while the holidays often focus on food, traditions, and gifts, remind yourself that the one thing that ties all of that together is those special people in your life. Tell the people in your life you love them. Take the time to acknowledge friends and family as being special to you. It’s one thing to get them a card or a gift. It’s another thing to say it. Take the time to tell them how much they mean to you. You’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

    I completely agree with your thoughts, and I love the idea of Fitfluential! Great post Courtney!
    Angela @ Health Happiness & Harmony recently posted..Sweet and Savory

  7. says

    I’m a firm believer in eating a mini-meal or substantial snack with carbs, veggies and protein before heading to a holiday party. It helps me get in my nutrients before I hit the buffet table, so I can enjoy a couple more decadent items at the party.
    Also, pre-gaming with the nutritious food provides a good base for your stomach if you’re planning to enjoy a holiday cocktail (or three!). Remember, alcohol hits harder on an empty stomach.
    Laura @ Backstage Pass recently posted..The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chocolate Cherry Nuggets recipe

  8. says

    Sleep is so important. In fact, I took a mental health day today just to catch up on some zzz’s.. (shh)

    For me, I find that a good strategy is to say “ok, on saturday this weekend I’m going to a party with lots of treats, so up until then i’m going to be EXTRA good and workout consistently, and hold off on the treats until then” so that when the time comes I feel like I deserve to indulge a little and it all balances out. I appreciate them more too.
    Mallory @ Have Your Cake and Eat it recently posted..A Nice Slow Morning

  9. says

    wow this post was really helpful! One of my main problems during the holiday season, or any buffet-style-situation for that matter (!) is options. I always want to try just one of everything! I’m definitely going to bring these tips ot the next holiday party I go to..which is err umm, tomorrow 😉
    Jenny recently posted..Luv Wholefoods

  10. says

    Great tips! I love your mental checklist on when to indulge. I also would add to the list “me” time. I think it is important to take some time to relax during the time of year that is always go, go, go. Thanks for sharing!

  11. says

    Oh I needed this today!! I actually just posted something similar mostly about my need for this (rather than my knowledge of how to pull it off). Ha. Thanks again! This was GREAT!
    Faith recently posted..Holiday Health

  12. says

    I like the picky and top 5 rule! I always do that, go for my favorites and homemade treats versus everything in sight. I also make sure to keep with regular exercise, drink lots of water and make sure to keep my non-treat eats as healthy as possible.
    Lindsey recently posted..What I’ve Been Eating…

  13. says

    Love the tips!

    I find that if I don’t try to eat healthy most of the times during the holidays, it becomes a slippery slope to feeling like it’s a free for all. Not every piece of candy or cookie or indulgent dish needs to be consumed by me all the time.

    Exercise is also so key. It’s hard to do when you’re tired or the weather is cold outside, but it’s much easier to maintain fitness through the holidays than it is to start over again afterwards.
    Rosa – Fitness Food Fulfilled recently posted..Changing Pace and Goals

  14. briana says

    Great tips! I follow these rules all year long but as a preschool teacher right now the treats are flowing and I’m definately giving in more than I should!

  15. says

    Great tips! Two more I would add to the list is:

    1) Do not ‘save’ your calories…it’ll more than likely result in a binge

    2) Have a healthy breakfast: even if the rest of your day goes to pot, at least you have one healthy meal under your belt!

  16. Shannon says

    Under tip #1’s paragraph, “effected” should be with an “a”. The word “Effect” is for a noun; “affect” is for a verb such as sleeps “affects” your mood, etc.

    I think you covered everything under the tips. I can’t think of any others.

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