The holidays are a fun time of year, but can be stressful with additional end-of-year work duties, trips to crowded stores, so many parties, and all those tempting desserts around. This can add up to frazzled nerves, exhaustion and poor digestion.
Here are some tips to help you sail smoothly through this time of year, while staying vibrant, strong and healthy.
1. Say No.
Most of us would love to just hang out with our family & friends all day and night, eat and drink without remorse and have no repercussions. This is unrealistic, obviously. Something’s gotta give. You might feel pressured to attend every party you’re invited to, but it’s not necessarily in your best interest.
Keep tabs on how you’re feeling and if you’re too tired to go or not feeling up to it, don’t force yourself out of a sense of obligation. Just be honest with your host. Most folks will be understanding, and if they’re not, are they really people you want to be around?
2. Food Awareness.
You might want a big slice of pie with way too much whipped cream on it, an extra large serving of buttery mashed potatoes or a double mocha/peppermint patty/eggnog latte.
It might taste good in the moment, but later, you may feel physically yucky and emotionally guilty for the overindulgence.
Berating yourself isn’t a useful solution after the fact. Plan ahead to have a smaller portion, really savor it and enjoy each morsel.
Let your everyday normal be a high quality, whole foods diet and when you have a treat, it’s truly a treat. After a while, your tastebuds will change and that pie won’t have the same draw as it once did.
On days you know you’re going to be eating out or going to parties, eat easier to digest foods such as soup, congee or other warm foods like steamed dark, leafy greens, winter squash or sweet potatoes.
3. Stay Warm.
During the Fall and Winter months, shorter days mean less sunlight, and the weather is chilly and windy, making us more susceptible to getting physically run down and catching a cold. In Chinese Medicine, the cold enters the body through the neck, so staying warm and keeping your neck covered when it’s breezy or rainy is important.
It’s also important to make sure to keep well hydrated with lots of room temperature water or a fresh ginger tea.
Ginger Tea recipe: http://tinyurl.com/gingertearecipe
It’s easy to be a slave to our to-do lists, especially when there are so many additional responsibilities at this time of year. Make yourself a priority and take a time out at least once a day, even if only for a few minutes. Stop by the beach to listen to the waves, schedule a massage or acupuncture appointment, attend a yoga class or just sit quietly with your eyes closed for 5 minutes. You’ll find that you’ll be better equipped to handle the stress with more grace.
5. Gratefulness Practice.
Oftentimes we get so caught up in doing too many things, and it can start to feel like a chore. This can create resentment and negative emotions. Aim to find at least one thing a day that you are truly grateful for, even if it’s as small as a perfectly made cup of coffee, a late season plumeria tree blooming or the chirp of a bird overhead.
Keep in mind that the holidays—and everyday, really—are about being present in the moment, taking care of yourself first so you have the energy to help others, and appreciating the little things. Everything else is optional.
All of us here at Longevity Health Center wish you wellness and happiness this holiday season and for the New Year.