The holidays are a time of joy, laughter, connecting with family and friends, and celebration. They also may be stressful on our bodies, minds and “pocket books”. With our already busy lives; extra baking, shopping, gift-wrapping, and entertaining can make us feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Here are a few tips to help you to stay healthy, happy and mindful during the holidays and beyond.
- Take time for you – Holidays are a time to give to others, and they are also a time to give to yourself. Schedule time in your day for that yoga class, to go to the gym, for that bubble bath. Rather than jumping out of bed each morning and “hitting the ground running”, do a full body stretch; close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe noticing any areas of tightness or discomfort. Breathe into those areas and release that tension or discomfort.
- Integrate mindfulness practices into each day. Mindfulness practices help you “stay in the present moment”. They help you focus on what you are doing in the moment rather than mulling about the past or worrying about the future. Try mindfully eating when you chew, and savor each bite 5 to 30 times. Here are some other mindfulness practices you may enjoy: http://creativelivingcommunity.com/how-you-can-find-peace-amidst-the-chaos-of-daily-life-work/
- Spend time in nature at least 3 times a week (for 15 to 30 minutes or more). Being in nature is SOoo therapeutic. Focusing on the beauty that surrounds you takes your busy mind off that never-ending “to-do” list. Did you know that the Japanese have done longitudinal studies that show when we spend time in forests (they call it forest bathing or forest therapy) it reduces our heart rate, reduces our blood pressure and increases the number of natural killer cells our body produces; which means it strengthens our immune system. During stressful times it is particularly important to keep our immune systems strong so we don’t end up with that flu or cold after our guests leave!
- Celebrate YOU! At the end of each day identify at least one thing you want to celebrate about yourself for that day. It could be something you accomplished or how you responded in a stressful situation. When you constantly give to others without nourishing and celebrating yourself, you will become depleted and may also become resentful and/ or ill.
I’d love to hear your strategies for staying happy, healthy and mindful during the holidays. Please share them below. Feel free to pass this on to others you care about.
 Here is a useful resource on mindful eating: http://thecenterformindfuleating.org/
Thank you Pam! For me, being in nature, especially at the university’s park-like setting, really helps de-stress! I have also found literally counting my daily blessings helps me focus on the positive! And a little treat once in awhile because I deserve it!
Some great strategies for de-stressing! Thank you Cynthia 🙂
Living in rural Maine it’s easy to skip getting outside during the holiday season because it’s gotten cold and snowy here, but I’ve found it’s essential to make sure I do to re-balance and take a deep breath 🙂
Hi Katt, Yes, it is a challenge to spend time outside when it’s cold and snowy. Good for you to brave it! Thanks for your positive feedback. Warm Regards, Pam
Thank you Pam, great tips! I find holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with oneself!
Hi Lira, So true that holidays can be a great time to reconnect with oneself. Happy you enjoyed the tips. Warm Regards, Pam
I love your strategies. I also utilize gratitude during the holiday season as Cynthia stated. It keeps my focus on what is most important. Nature is essential to my health and well being all year around. Thanks for your post. Happy Holidays Pam! xx
Hi Lisa, Thanks for the reminder re gratitude. It is so important for us to be grateful year round. Happy you found the strategies useful. Happy Holidays to you as well! Warm Hugs, Pam
Appreciating this reminder that I read on one of Lea Tran’s posts earlier this year, “Did you know that the Japanese have done longitudinal studies that show when we spend time in forests (they call it forest bathing or forest therapy) it reduces our heart rate, reduces our blood pressure and increases the number of natural killer cells our body produces; ” I’m going to have to travel inland to find more than palm trees! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Hi Lore, Yes, nature is truly amazing! Love your comment regarding the palm trees. Sunshine is also very therapeutic :). Happy Holidays to you and your family, Pam
Even on a day like today when it’s 11 degrees with 35 mph winds and a wind chill of -7, I still manage to at least stand in front of the window and connect with nature. Without that, the rest of the day is just a huge to-do list.
Hi Barb, Whew! Sounds chilly. Good for you to connect with nature from inside your warm, cozy home! Have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, good health and a 2017 filled with dreams coming true. Warmly, Pam
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