Finding Joy in the Holidays
Not sleeping? Easily angered? Mood swings? Lack of concentration? These are symptoms of stress, something we all seem to experience during the holiday season. Why? Financial pressures, social obligations, over-scheduling, poor eating habits, and worry, among others. Having a healthier holiday season means letting go of the little stuff and finding joy and peace (remember those?) even during this busy time of year.
Ten Steps for a Healthier Holiday Season:
Say No. No, you don’t need to sign up to bake 100 cookies for a holiday swap. No, you don’t have time to host 20 guests for a party. And, yes, it’s okay to say no and not take on more stress during the holidays.
Lose the Guilt. Don’t even think about dieting during the holidays. Enjoy and savor your holiday treats in moderation and relish every bite. Instead of guilt, embrace joy.
Simplify. Gift wrapping doesn’t need to color coordinated. The perfect gift can’t be found in hours of shopping. Scale back, think about what is meaningful. Share time and space with those you love and remember that the simple things really do matter.
Nourish Yourself. Warming foods can be calming and reaffirming. Make soup and drink hot tea. Enjoy healthy comfort foods that nourish your body and your spirit.
Sleep. It’s natural during the short days and long nights to want to curl up in bed early and get extra sleep. Honor your body’s wisdom and rest.
Volunteer. Giving of your time brings more happiness and holiday joy than anything that comes in a box. Help with a local clothing drive, serve at a food bank, spread some cheer at a nearby senior center. And do it actively. An online donation doesn’t have the same impact.
Connect with Nature. Get outside and enjoy the beauty of the season. Take a walk in the snow, bring the kids sledding, or rediscover a local park. Being in nature will keep you centered.
Find Quiet Time. Meditate. Practice yoga. Or just curl up and gaze out the window. Quiet yourself and your mind during the busy season and your health and wellness will improve.
Be Grateful. Mass consumerism draws on “I want”. Put your attention on what you have and honor all the good in your life.
Roll with It. Things will always come up during the holidays. Delayed flights, traffic, unexpected illness, or forgotten gifts. Be flexible and forgiving. And don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say!
Wishing you a joyous holiday season!