It’s that time of year again. List making, errand running, gift giving, cleaning, cooking, baking, decorating…ahhhh! It’s a super busy time of year that supposed to be a time of joy, togetherness and celebration. Yet even with the best of intentions, the holidays can bring challenges to our physical and emotional health.
Here are my Top 5 Tips For How to Thrive Not Just Survive this Holiday Season
- Prioritize Your Well Being – Recognize you can’t serve from an empty cup, so don’t skip meals, don’t skimp on sleep, stay hydrated and pack healthy snacks for on the go. Being tired, depleted and hangry is the perfect recipe for illness, poor quality eating, overeating and bringing out the Christmas Grinch in you.
- Take Me-Time – To be Selfless, we need to be Selfish. Yup that’s right I said it. Healthy selfishness is being aware of the need to take care of ourselves not at the expense of others, but actually in service to others. It’s the season of giving but we can’t give what we don’t have. Only when you set yourself up to feel your best, will you be able to give your best to the world around you. Putting yourself at the top of your list actually improves your ability to be more generous with your time and energy. So commit to doing at least one thing every day that is 100% for you – that feeds your soul.
Here are my list of go-to’s – but why not take a moment and make a list of your own. Post it on the fridge for a daily reminder to give yourself the attention you deserve.
- 10-minute morning mediation
- Getting out in nature if even for just 5 minutes to breathe in the fresh air and look up into the sky
- Practice Yoga – no time for a class? Take 10 minutes and try some simple poses or stretches during the day
- Go to the gym
- Play your favorite music and dance in the kitchen
- Make a rejuvenating smoothie
- Take a nap
- Enjoy a leisurely bath with lavender scented Epsom salts
- Play with your dog
- Get a pedicure
- Take a reading break and escape with a favorite book
- Enjoy a quiet undistracted moment with a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate
- Let Go of Perfectionism – Reel in those expectations – repeat, “There is no such thing as a perfect holiday”. Accept that this holiday season will get messy, family members will be annoying, frustrating, wine will spill, the roast might be dry, you may not get the reaction you want when they open your gifts…enjoy anyway and allow what happens to happen. Even if we create that postcard holiday experience, was it really worth all the effort, tension and anxiety to get there?
- Break Up with Tradition – What traditions are weighing you down, or stealing your joy? Can you be flexible when it comes to change? Whenever you feel the “We have to do it this way because we always have” syndrome, stop and re-evaluate and ask yourself this question: “When is it okay for me to change the course of this tradition, or even stop it?” Should traditions be a burden or a pure joy? Is it something we have to do, or want to do? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.
- Be a Conscious Eater – Let go of the guilt and negative self talk that just breeds more unhealthy behaviors and enjoy your special food indulgences guilt free. Remember that the holidays need not go beyond the one-day indulgence so just commit to just get back with healthy eating the very next day. Eat what you love (not like) and don’t give in to food pushers or similarly eat something just because it’s holiday tradition. Remember you always have a choice. Eat mindfully and be present at your holiday plate, enjoy the smell, taste and texture of each bite. Navigate the parties with your well-being in mind and remember social occasions are just that a time to engage with friends and loved ones. I always have a “pre-eat” protein rich snack to help keep your focus where is should be – on present company.
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To your health and happiness!