December 6, 2023

How To Be Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

By Nichell Latimore

Hello and Happy Holidays from MIT Recreation! 

I hope you all are doing well and looking forward to the holiday season. My name is Nichell, and I am the full-time personal trainer here at MIT. As the holiday season commences, I wanted to reach out to share some insights and reflections. We all want to be our best selves at all times, and the holiday season is no different. As a fitness professional, I believe the benefits of healthful and intentional diet and exercise to be immeasurable. Simultaneously, the mental, social, and emotional aspects of the holiday season should not be minimized in lieu of the former, but rather, should be prioritized. As this can be a tricky balance, I have included some tips and tricks that may be helpful in fostering the most enjoyable holiday experience possible: 

·         If exercise provides joy and/or catharsis, find ways to incorporate exercise into your holiday! This may include a yoga session in the morning, a guided exercise routine, a walk/run after your holiday dinner, or anything in between. 

·         Be conscious about enjoying your time with your loved ones during the holidays! Watching holiday movies, decorating your space, and listening to holiday music are all equally as important as completing a workout. 

·         Fill your holiday plate with a colorful array of foods including but not limited to meats, fruits, vegetables, and sweets! Do not be afraid to try new things if your heart desires. 

·         Treat yourself! In addition to fueling our bodies, foods and drinks provide valuable opportunities to engage in mealtime discussions and to sit in the presence of those around us. So if the eggnog and gingerbread are the vehicles to quality time, go for it! 

·         Be prepared and willing to say no! While there are aspects of holidays that can joyous, there can also be aspects of holiday times that are stressful. Conversations that provoke negative feelings? Disengage. Triggering comments or people? Step away. Protect your peace and enjoy your holiday. 

·         Practice body liberation/neutrality! Neither love nor hate need to be bodily descriptor, your body can simply be! Keep comments about your body and others’ bodies at bay. 

·         Drink lots of water! In addition to its hydrating properties, water serves as a natural cleanser for the new and different foods and drinks you may be consuming. 

·         In all moments and settings, find things to be grateful for! Try to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. 

·         Practice grace and consideration! Remember that holidays can elicit varying feelings and emotions among people. Be sensitive and kind to those around you. Tis the season of giving after all! 

·         If all else fails, enjoy your holiday as best as you can! Tell the others that your trainer said so 😊