It’s that time of the year again – holiday season! Next week, many of us will begin a dizzying six weeks of traveling, eating, partying, spending, and being with family. It can be a lot to handle, even for the most balanced and prepared individuals.
Often, by the time the New Year emerges, you can feel drained, exhausted, bloated, and ready to hide out from your friends and family for a while. That’s not the best way to start the new year!
I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you this holiday season, and you start 2010 with clarity, vitality, and balance. Here are my top seven tips for thriving and enjoying yourself between now and the end of the year (and beyond!):
- Make time for yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of activity of family, traveling, cooking, etc.. If you have the tendency to forget about making time for yourself, now is a great time to start. Even just by giving yourself 15-30 minutes a day (of course, even longer is better), you’ll find you feel more calm, centered, nourished and able to face the day, or those pesky relatives that are coming over for a holiday dinner.Some of my favorite ways to make time for myself are to: journal, sit down with nothing to do but drink a warm cup of tea, take a walk, take a catnap, call a friend who will make me laugh, stretch, and get a manicure.
- Remember to breathe. When we are rushing around with lots to do, it’s very easy to simply forget about our breath. Using your breath consciously is a wonderful way to bring you back to center, to ground yourself, to calm yourself, and to slow down your speedy rhythm.You can remember your breath at any time: in the middle of holiday shopping, while having a conversation with a family member, at a party. Simply take five seconds to consciously bring the oxygen into your body and consciously cleanse through the exhale. Those five seconds can make a big difference in your afternoon.
- Set realistic boundaries around eating that don’t feel restrictive. Let’s just be upfront and honest – you will most likely eat some things over the holidays you don’t normally eat, or that don’t fit into your ideal eating habits. Instead of fighting against this fact, my suggestion is you cut yourself some slack and be realistic with yourself. Perhaps it’s okay to allow yourself dessert, but your boundary is you know there is no way you’ll go back for a second helping. Or, perhaps, you allow yourself to eat whatever you want on a holiday dinner, but plan beforehand a cleansing diet for the following day.Let yourself enjoy the holiday and all the scrumptious food it can bring…just make sure you set limits and boundaries for yourself that will allow you to feel good while enjoying it all.
- Give thanks. After all, it IS that time of year, right? It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the holiday details you actually forget about acknowledging all of the wonderful things in your life for which you are grateful. My suggestion is you take 20-30 minutes over Thanksgiving weekend and make a list of all the things in your life and this past year you appreciate and are truly grateful for. Keep that list nearby throughout the holiday season, and refer to it when things start to feel overwhelming.
- Get your sleep. Studies show when you are missing out on sleep, you begin to operate out of reserve energy and wear down your adrenals. As a busy woman, you’ve got lots to do – so make sure you rest in order to be able to move through the important stuff with calmness and ease. In the wintertime, when the night hours are actually longer than the day hours, it’s the perfect invitation from Mother Earth to spend a little more time in bed…and a little less time rushing around!
- Create time for authentic connection. So many people to see, so many things to do! That seems like a mantra for so many of us during the holidays. Yet, how often do you make time among all of the socializing to truly connect with your loved ones? To have a heart-to-heart conversation instead of a quick and surface level exchange? The more authentically connected you are to others, the more love and support you will feel in your life.
- Travel Smart. If you are traveling this holiday season, take precautions to stay as healthy as possible: drink lots of water before, during and after your flight; get a good night’s sleep before you fly; make sure you wash your hands to fight off any bugs trapped in the plane; and take supplements appropriate for you – some of my personal favorites are a good multi-vitamin and plenty of extra Vitamin C.
Overall, what’s most important this holiday season is that you be gentle with yourself and those around you. Remember, it is a wonderful yet stressful time of year, and the more you can prepare yourself – both inside and out – the more successfully you’ll move through all of it. Enjoy!