“The holidays are coming!” could be a warning sounded by a modern-day Paul Revere. We Americans won our independence back then and today we can all free ourselves from holiday stress. All it takes is awareness and preparation; you can bring an active calm, a meaningful happiness and enhance loving connections. Here’s how to enjoy the holidays:
* The dreaded great big fat fear and guilt of weight gain: Instead of worrying and berating yourself about seasonal weight gain – future catastrophe – think in terms of bite-sized meals in the NOW. If you are going to indulge in a big dinner or office party, enjoy yourself thoroughly, but don’t hang out next to the big eaters! However, the day before and the day after tighten your belt (actually works) – eat more veggies, low-sugar fruits, lean proteins and plenty of fiber and water. This way you are a “portion teller” instead of a gloom and doom misfortune teller. By now you know that mindful eating is not an all or nothing proposition. Add a little exercise into the formula of calories in versus calories out, like a brisk after-dinner walk on Thanksgiving and your cardiovascular system will thank you, too. Note: Exercise combats the holiday blues.
* A big stressor regarding time, space and money: SHOPPING. Give yourself a gift this year and keep it simple. You know how to do it whether it is a homemade basket of cheer tied into the identity of the recipient or a specific theme (Mediterranean, from the good earth, teas from around the world, etc.), a card with a redeemable experiential gift coupon (like I’ll help you clean out your closet or we’ll do a walkathon for a good cause together), or ordering gifts online with a discount coupon code. Kids demanding the hottest, priciest new toy? You know they often end up playing with the box or breaking the toy anyway. Start making commercials in your home about the spirit of the season to counteract the media. Aim for gifts of imagination, arts and crafts and games to be played by the family. Your kids really want your full attention. Give them an adventure. Adventures can be free.
* Feeling fatigued and achy? “Tis the season of allergies: Dust, fungus/mold, foods with ingredients which throw you off balance, decorations, candles and heavy perfumes. Open a window periodically or step outside for a few minutes. Ask your hostess if a food contains something you can’t eat; if you take medication for your allergies – remember to take it. Keep yourself in balance with rest and exercise which will help support your immune system.
* Dread seeing your tribe because you feel that they talk down to you? Stand tall with your shoulders back and down –a great posture for self-confidence and stress management; come empowered with a good story about yourself and compliment the clan liberally. Also, change the familiar dynamics by becoming a person on a mission: Learn what you can about your family members because you share a few genes here and there. The family history needs to be preserved and the little known facts of their medical history could save your life someday! There is great power to be tapped from the past, known as wisdom. Collect their stories and your will be the life of the party!
For more info on stress management visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com