We are about to collectively enter the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving and going right through New Years Eve. For some, this creates a sense of excitement. For others, it triggers a feeling of “Oh no…not this again!” Often we become “swept up” in the holidays, instead of appreciating it in a spiritually sound, healthy way.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the ups and downs of the holidays now. (Consider it a pre-holiday “battening down the hatches.”)
Take in the light and keep moving. The holidays are a prime time for weight gain and holiday blues. If you don’t have an exercise regimen in place, the time to start one is now, not after New Year’s, when the pressure to create the perfect ironclad resolution looms high.
Remember, exercise doesn’t have to mean a costly gym membership or a high-impact workout. It can just as easily consist of a solid, ½ hour walk at the end of your workday. (Or better yet, pre-work, so you can take in some sunlight, which has proven to be a spirit lifter.)
Limit television exposure for sanity’s sake. The media bombardment surrounding the holidays can be intense and overwhelming (and seems to start earlier each year). Give you and your family a break by shutting off the television for solid chunks of time. Replace it with music. Or conversation. Or better yet, good, old-fashioned silence. (Remember silence? Back in the day?)
Make room for real nutrition. You know the routine: normally you wouldn’t eat (fill in the blank) but it you were hungry and there it was, taunting you. Suddenly 10 pigs-in-a-blanket seem like a perfectly reasonable meal…and guess what? This isn’t completely bad. Allowing for some indulgences keeps up feeling happy and balanced.
But make sure get-togethers include healthful food, like salad, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, hearty grains and the like. Fill up on those foods first before indulging in that rather strange-looking but delicious ambrosia salad.
A large glass of water is another smart move before you hit the table. Not only is it filling but cleansing.
Rethink gifts. One of the biggest stressors surrounding the holidays is purchasing gifts, where we feel the need to buy something for everyone and stretch our wallets past the breaking point.
Before the holidays get into full gear, talk to friends and family and make a plan. Some are more than happy to forego gift-giving altogether. Others don’t mind pitching in for a gift with you.
(Holiday ecards are a smart and eco-conscious way to reach out to loved ones…and you can’t beat the price! Have a look through our Thanksgiving ecards.)
Rekindle the spirit of the holidays. There is a little child that resides deep within. He or she knows what the holidays are really about. Take away the gifts, the media saturation and the madness of it all. What are you left with? Can you define the feeling you’d like to experience over the holidays? What does it mean to you on a more personal level? What can you do to make it simpler and full of spirit, not more stuff?
Again, the best time to prepare is now. Put a plan in place so you can enter the holidays with open eyes and a healthy mind and body. Create smart boundaries. Take care of your health beforehand. Then…enjoy!