Post Memorial Day Weekend slump got you down? Three day weekends can be tricky – while the extra day off of work can feel glorious, it’s also an extra day out of your routine that makes the first day back feel a little worse. Funny enough, an extra day off makes us want to hit snooze on our alarm even more. Add staying up later, eating out more, and drinking alcohol, and you might find yourself wishing you had just one more day … or, the rest of the week off.
Luckily, there are some simple hacks you can do to get yourself right back to crushing your goals and feeling great. Every time I get out of my normal routine or daily habits due to a vacation or long weekend, I implement these tactics and they always help me get things back into gear.
Implementing these strategies will go a long way towards getting back into your routine quickly, at the same time – you know yourself best, and if you need a slow roll back in, then be gentle with yourself. It’s ok if you want to sleep in a little extra, or pick up a healthy meal for dinner instead of cooking. In a world where we’re always so hard on ourselves to be perfect, remember that it is completely ok to simply do what you can.
1. GO CRUSH SOME WATER – YES, RIGHT NOW!
When you combine sun and alcohol, dehydration becomes a major factor that can slow you down big time. Do yourself a favor and go overboard on the water for a couple of days. This will also help if you struggle with bloating after a weekend out of your normal eating patterns.
When you keep yourself hydrated, you sleep better, and it’ll feel easier to get back to your workout routine. There are a ton of health benefits of drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated. Some of the key benefits include:
- Oxygenation of your blood
- Elasticity in your skin
- Improved ability to flush toxins out of your body
- Preservation of optimal kidney function
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Regulation of body temperature
- Keeping your joints happy and healthy
In general, you should be drinking lots of water – check out my 10-day hydration challenge and see why you should try it for yourself! After a holiday weekend of crushing salty foods and alcohol, drinking enough water to be properly hydrated becomes even MORE important to get back to feeling your best.
If you’re still reading – go grab yourself a 16-oz glass of water to sip on while you finish this post.
2. PREP SOME FOOD – OR HAVE SOMEONE ELSE DO IT FOR YOU
It is truly amazing how what we eat can affect our physical and mental state of being. The beautiful thing about this is that YOU get to control how your body feels when it comes to food. Every meal or snack you approach is a new opportunity to make a healthy choice for yourself. Remember that concept when you feel like continuing the path of eating party food after the holiday weekend is over. You have the power to make a choice for yourself that will help you feel better and more energized.
If you spent the weekend at pool parties, going out for brunch and/or dinner, and snacking on less-than-healthy treats, it’s all good. Everyone deserves to enjoy themselves and take some time off of being super conscious about their nutrition. That being said, it can make you feel sluggish to change your eating patterns drastically for three days in a row, and it also becomes WAY easier to continue the pattern through that next week…which can turn into the next month…etc.
Take an hour of your day to make some healthy food that will get you back to feeling your best. Fill your plate with veggies for a few days. It doesn’t have to be super complicated – I love using my crock-pot, instant pot, and sous vide for optimal hands-off cooking. Watch the magic unfold as you get yourself back to your pre-holiday weekend self.
Here are a few of my favorite simple meal-prep ideas to get you started!
- These pork carnitas from PaleOMG
- This green chili chicken from Stupid Easy Paleo
- This crockpot sweet potato basil soup from Paleomg
- This skillet from Fed & Fit
Meal prep not your thing? Especially after the long weekend blues? We get that! Tag Territory in. Choose from one of our dietary filters and get fresh, healthy, ready-to-eat meals right to your doorstep…or to your gym. That way, you have the perfect excuse to get your fitness on before snagging your meals. Brings me to #3 …
3. GET THAT BODY MOVING
Nothing will help you get back on track more than getting yourself up and moving. I’m not suggesting you go crush a super intense workout or double up on HIIT sessions – that could actually be counterproductive if you’re under-recovered from a lack of sleep or water.
I suggest that people wake up after a holiday weekend at the same time they normally do for work and go for a 20-30 minute walk. It won’t shock your system or make you feel worse, and it also gets your body used to moving again!
A lot of people want to hit an intense lifting session or go crush a HIIT class to whip themselves back into shape after an indulgent weekend. That does more harm than good in this scenario. If you’re running on a lack of sleep and water from your long weekend, high intensity exercise can have the opposite effect. If you’re feeling tired, intense exercise is only going to intensify your exhaustion.
On the other hand, low-moderate intensity aerobic activity will provide all the benefits you’re looking for (get that metabolism going again, reduce stress, get your brain working better) without the added physical fatigue.
This is not to say we don’t believe in high intensity exercise – on the contrary, many members of our team are avid CrossFitters, weight lifters, spin class and bootcamp instructors, etc. However, in this particular scenario, when you’re not feeling your best and experiencing some fatigue/sluggishness, you’ll be better off leaning into a long walk, hike, yoga session, or slow bike ride to get your body movin’ and groovin’.
As always, your health is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like you can’t suddenly become healthy with 3 days of eating well and exercising, you also are not going to lose all of your healthy habits and fitness progress after a few days of holiday fun. What matters more than anything is consistency, and the ability to bounce back after a few days off.
All this to say, don’t allow a few days off track to keep you there for months to come. Buckle up, and get back on that horse – we’re here to help!