The holiday rush is on! Shopping madness, dinners, holiday parties, holiday treats and busy-ness wreck havoc on our bodies, minds and emotions. If we stop and really take a look at the whole cycle it is not difficult to see why most of us end up sick and burned out either during the holidays or not long after. While the holidays always bring lots of smiles and love they also tend to bring us many other things we don’t want, like extra pounds, sicknesses, low energy levels and too much stress! In fact the incidence of flu and colds doubles in incidence in December and January. All the things that lower our immune resistance, stress, sugar, unhealthy fats, too much food and not enough exercise, are in full effect during this time of year. Too many
treats, too much wine and not enough of everything healthy drives us to set healthy goals and resolutions for the New Year. Why wait until the New Year? With a few easy tips you can stay healthy and balanced and sail into January looking and feeling your best!
1. Stay Active
This is an important one and no running around and shopping does not count. When our schedules get busy one of the first things most of us squeeze out of our lives is a consistent exercise routine. It’s important to stay active during the holiday season most especially because exercise addresses exactly what we need to stay in balance during this time: releasing stress, increasing energy and increasing metabolism. The Holidays can be stressful and exercise is one of the best ways to release this built up stress and prevent it from doing any damage to our health. Even taking just a 30 minute walk each day will do wonders for your health and well being.
2. Eat Healthy Outside of Parties & Holiday Functions
We all know it will be next to impossible
to say no to pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the great treats the Holidays naturally invite. It’s not so bad to indulge every once and awhile in fact it creates a healthy balance in your life, what is important is not to allow indulging to turn into an all day, every day thing. Fatty and sugary foods are naturally addicting because the heighten neurotransmitters in our brain, the feel good mood chemicals. So once we have a taste of this stuff, we want more! If you watch yourself, you’ll notice the times you fall off the “healthy eating wagon” are times that start with a wonderfully indulging meal or dessert. That one meal turns into days of eating in unhealthy ways. Knowing this ahead of time will give you some awareness. If you know you will be attending a Holiday function, be mindful to eat healthy the day of and the day after. Allow yourself to indulge, but know the next day you will be back to your fresh, healthy diet. Following this tip will ensure you keep yourself balanced throughout the
3. Start Your Day Fresh
I talk alot about the importance of fresh, raw foods in the diet and that is because it not only keep your health at the highest levels, but also your outward beauty radiant, your emotions balanced, and your energy levels high. This can be a challenge in the colder months because cold, raw foods can throw our bodies out of balance. So what to do? Starting the day with a fresh green smoothie is the best approach to getting a healthy dose of fresh foods while allowing the rest of the day to be more balanced to the external weather with warm soups, grains and veggies. Green smoothies naturally cleanse your body, which is best done first thing in the body, increase the amount of oxygen supply in your body, which is a great way to jump start your day, hydrate and alkalize your body and infuse your cells with living nutrients and enzymes. Starting with a smoothie also keeps your digestive energy exertion to a minimum freeing up energy first thing in the morning, when we all
need it most. Adding a green smoothie during the Holidays gives your body the nutrients it needs while flushing toxins (think wine, sugary desserts and fatty meals) each and every day. This one tip will immediately increase your energy, vitality and overall health almost immediately.
4. Healthy Stress Management Practices
Stress! There’s that word again. Stress is talked about so frequently in a truly holistic approach to health because it has such a negative and profound effect of every area of your life and all of us have way too much of it! In fact during stressful times your biological age, the age of the inside of your body, can be as much as 32 years older than your calendar age! That’s how negative stress is on the inside of your body. The Holidays become a very stressful time for alot of people. Spending, shopping and pressure are all words that can be synonymous with the Holidays if we allow these things to have an impact on us, and for many it will have an impact on us. It’s important to your health
and well being to have healthy stress management practices in place and to practice them consistently especially throughout the most stressful times of year. Healthy stress management practices such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, exercise,and taking ample down time will help you stay in balance and keep your health vibrant even during the most stressful times. As little as 5 minutes a day of deep breathing can go a long way to help reduce your stress and the stress impact on your body and health. You can contact us directly to receive a free 5-minute deep breathing exercise. Make sure going into the Holidays you have a plan in place for the days and times you will dedicate time to releasing stress. I find meditation exercise and yoga to be the most beneficial for me. What stress management practices are most beneficial for you? Make sure they are in your weekly schedule.
5. Don’t Get Lost in the Hustle and Bustle
The Holidays should be a time of family, love and thankfulness. The rest like parties and presents are just ways of expressing those things.
For years I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, most especially making sure my kids had bigger, better presents. Then I became more conscious and watched. I watched as my kids opened present after present, and as present after present was literally thrown to the side to open the next. There was no appreciation or gratefulness and I knew this was my fault. In the last couple years I have began to take the approach of offering gifts as a representation of love and appreciation for my children. This has translated into less presents with more meaning and more meaning has translated into less of all the other stuff. It’s so easy to get lost in the marketing, advertising and pressure of the Holidays but it’s important to take time to decide what the Holidays truly mean for you. Once you have that understanding, your actions can align and your focus will remain clear. Coincidentally enough, this results in less stress and a better sense of peace during the season. Don’t get lost in everything
the Holidays aren’t, instead stay grounded in what the Holidays are. This will minimize your stress and other negative emotions and increase all the positive and peaceful feelings the Holidays innately generate. By implementing these 5 simple steps you will take a big step forward to staying balanced and healthy this Holiday season.