Prepare to follow me down a rabbit hole, but know that this is seriously important stuff. All the sparkly anticipation of the holiday season has a tendency to distract us from some pretty vital things, like our health, and it’s important to keep these things in check. Winter is the season when we become the most prone to getting sick, and time change and lack of sun exposure disrupts our internal clock and circadian rhythm, which leaves us feeling less than well. So here are a few tips and tricks I have found to be extremely helpful with the upkeep of my well being throughout the holiday season and beyond.
This one is kind of a no brainer, but do your best to nourish your body every day. Simply put, eat good quality wholesome foods that aren’t loaded with chemicals. Eat sensible portions and go as clean and organic as possible if you care to avoid antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and any other dirty toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on your health and the environment. If you eat well and still feel you may be falling short in giving your body everything it needs in order to function properly you can always turn to vitamin and herbal supplements for some additional insurance. Just remember that supplements need to be good quality and are meant to supplement a healthy diet, not substitute for one.
Try not to overdo it with your alcohol intake. Nothing is wrong with having a few drinks here and there but keep in mind that alcoholic beverages are extremely caloric and hard on the body when consumed excessively. Also worth noting – unless it’s a good quality red wine or dark beer it isn’t going to have many health benefits. You can only take the ‘it’s good for me’ excuse so far.
Everyone needs it, and you don’t have to overdo it. Go for a walk, jog, bike ride, swim, hit the gym by yourself or take a group fitness class. Join the Cross Fit cult or do some Jillian Michaels workouts in your living room. Regardless of the activity, we could all benefit from moving more and it will always make you feel better.
I often find my brain to be overloaded, and whenever people ask me what I’m thinking about I just think of how interesting it would be to actually let them go through a rolodex of my brain and see everything occupying it in that moment. I have learned that worry stress and anxiety really don’t serve a purpose, and clearing your mind to the point of having no thoughts at all is sometimes the best way to unwind and hit the reset button.
Coming home from a long day of doing whatever you do is a huge relief in and of itself, but when you make your home your sanctuary and are able to leave your problems at the door, it becomes even more the place you want to be. Your living space should always be a place you can go to and feel safe. Keep it as clean and organized as you can. Add some house plants and essential oil diffusers to the rooms you spend the most time in, and open the curtains to let in the daylight.
A relaxing afternoon/evening at home for me usually consists of running a warm bath, soaking in some bath salts and essential oils, listening to music, watching something I love on hulu, cooking my favorite food, and diving into a good book or magazine. Whatever ritual you prefer, remember to engage in it.
I know that the culture we live in runs on consumerism, especially around the holidays. However, there is such a thing as healthy money. Buying things you don’t need that clutter your living space and drain your bank account is not going to change your life or make you any happier. I find that the more money I save, the more peace of mind I have in knowing that when I actually need funds I have access to them. With that said, I still enjoy buying gifts for people, decorating my home and occasionally updating my wardrobe, but it is so important to find balance. Take a step back and analyze your shopping habits.
This was a long winded way of saying that without your health you really don’t have much, and avoiding unnecessary stress is extremely beneficial around the holidays. So take care of yourselves and enjoy the holiday season!