Does it really matter what you do, eat or drink during the Holidays? I mean, isn`t it natural and understandable to want to indulge now and then? Yes, it is. Both natural and understandable. We are social beings, and our celebrations tend to revolve around food. Lots of food, AND drinks.
I am sure you have been there. Where bloating and low energy was a part of the after party. The headaches, the extra weight, feeling regret even. I know I do.
I remember feeling relieved when January finally came, and I could get back to my normal routine. The yearly help-my-health diet plan, and my wallet all ready to purchase a new membership at the gym, an expensive detox retreat far, far, away. To redeem myself. To undo what I had done, and to learn how to do better next year.
I am not saying we shouldn´t have fun, gather and be merry, maybe even stretch our boundaries a little, but compromise our health? Never in my book.
We have allowed ourselves to fill up the Hospitals, max out our prescriptions and exhaust our relationships. All in the name of having a jolly good time.
How about enjoying a Holiday season in great health, with lots of energy, calmness, and joy? It`s easier than you might think.
All you need is a strategy. A plan, pen, paper, and the mindset of a game-changer.
Let´s bring the simple joy back to this happy season. The heartfelt healthy energy of celebration.
Here is what I have found useful and empowering for my clients:
- Be prepared: Planning is everything. Consider the season, as a whole. What will it look like? Are you going to travel? Spend time with family? Entertain, or do something entirely different? Make an outline. Step back, and look at your outline. Feeling good about it? Too much? Stressed already? Make sure your plan is aligned with what you want. YOU are in charge!
- Make lists: This is crucial. You need to make a list for everything. Once it is on the list, it is out of your head. Nothing brings stress like a head filled with tasks and things to remember. I am talking shopping lists, to do lists, wish lists, who is doing what list, and the most important of all, the ME list. I always say schedule everything. The ME time, schedule it! Make pockets in your calendar for massages, pedicures and tea time on the patio. Every single day, some ME time. That way, no matter how full your Holiday calendar gets, you can always breathe. Post it!
- Eat to live: This is a HUGE one. Abundance often leads to over-indulgence. And no, an extra potato or eggnog isn’t going to kill you, but there is no reason you cannot stay slim and fit and still have fun all season long. You can easily integrate a few simple rules to your food regime: 1. Drink a freshly made juice every morning, and don’t eat anything until 2 hours later. 2. Stop eating before you are completely full. 3. Honor your every-day ground rules, like no dairy, no gluten, vegan, or whatever you normally do. Lowering your standard will only lead to regret and an upset digestion. 4. Bring your own food. Yes, it is ok to bring food if you are on a special diet. Bring enough to share. 5. Fill your house with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. What we have in front of us is what we eat. 6. Stop eating at 8 pm. Drink small amounts of alcohol. Your body IS your temple!
- Know yourself: We tend to keep on going long after our bodies have told us to slow down. The subtle hint of a headache, stress in the body, restless sleep, irritability, forgetfulness, indigestion, anxiety and fatigue. Listen, and don´t compromise your health at any cost. Not worth it. When you need a break, take one. When you need to sit, sit! Be your own best friend!
- Deal with family: The Holidays are all about family and friends. First of all, family. Sadly, that doesn’t always mean happy, OR calm. Many experience stress from being around certain family members. It happens in most families. The trick is to not let it get to you. Keep your energy close. Be the observer. It`s ok to not see eye to eye on all matters, and it is ok to have different ways of living life. Choose your battles, and let it all be. Don’t give away your energy to that which you cannot change, or that which is NOT your business. You can still love them!
- Say NO, and YES: When you learn how to say no to that which is not serving you, you are at the same time saying yes to more of that which IS. Meaning, as long as we allow ourselves to spend time on and around that which we do not enjoy, we have less time for that which gives us joy. A healthy Holiday season starts with saying no. A healthy season also includes saying yes to more joy. To the ME time, the family time, some peaceful reflection time that brings in the true spirit of the Holidays. Meditate and embrace silence. Clearing the mind and the emotions. A time-out can do wonders. Yes is important, No is absolutely crucial. No is the new Yes!
- Simplify: We tend to make things complicated. Look at your gift list and the menu. Too much? Is the calendar too full? Can you spend less, love more and skip a few tasks? Most likely you can. Do you need 14 types of toppings and 4 different wines, or will a simpler and less complicated setting do just as well? Some love to spend time on detail, and some don´t You will know when you have reached your limit. Stress again. Time to simplify. You are always enough!
- Be active: Part of what will clog you up and make you feel like you wish January was here already is being sedentary. Get up early, and go for a walk. Stay on your exercise regime all month long. Heck, I would even say, up your regime! Take an extra run or walk. Do some extra yoga or invite a friend to a tennis challenge. Inspire the entire family to engage in a fun activity together. You are worth it!
- Sleep: Absolutely underrated, and so simple. Rest and sleep. The body regenerates during sound and calm sleep. It cleanses and rejuvenates. You bounce back much quicker, and your body will be able to handle stress much better. Be a sleeping beauty!
- Gratitude and serving: This is the season for giving. For bringing joy and gratitude to the world. By counting our blessings, we are blessing others. By serving, not pleasing we are communicating from the heart. The mind can play tricks on us, the heart is always true. By focusing on how we can do something for those less fortunate we are lowering our won stress level, healing together. Teaching children the value of compassion. Be grateful!
A healthy season is very doable, and we can make this the best Holiday ever by being more conscious of our choices. Live and let live, and know that by making a few healthier choices, be it food, mindset, routines or strategy wise, you can walk toward the new year feeling empowered. Feeling grateful, re-charged and ready for a brand New Year. All filled up with love.
Happy Healthy Holidays!