De-stress this Holiday Season by Doing Less to Enjoy More
The holidays are a wonderful time of year when we have the opportunity to spend time with those we love. We open our homes and our hearts to hosting out-of-town guests, cooking dinners and shopping for others but if we are not careful, the holiday season may leave even the most organized among us feeling stressed and spread thin. This year focus your energy on enjoying the time spent with your friends and family, not sweating the small stuff.
- Don’t over do it. The festive generous nature of the holidays may have us saying ‘yes’ to more than we can handle. Use your calendar to avoid becoming overwhelmed with too many obligations by planning ahead. Remember it’s okay to say no and that it’s important to keep time for yourself to recharge during such a hectic time of year.
- Forget the Jones. The pressures of hosting the perfect dinner, losing weight or making sure your holiday decor is picture perfect are never higher. This year forget the Jones. Forget Pinterest and that impossible Instagram account you follow and remember what’s important. The holidays are an opportunity to spend time with those we love, build stronger bonds and solid memories; not to live up to impossible expectations.
- Stay active. It’s easy to miss out on much needed Vitamin D during winter months but don’t forget to stay active and enjoy time outdoors. Regular exercise can regulate weight gain, improve mental health and clarity. Use physical activity as a reset button when you feel yourself becoming stressed or unbalanced this holiday season. Studies have shown that a simple 30 minute run or 60 min workout session such as yoga can boost mood and energy for up to 12 hours.
- Stick to healthier choices. Each year, we somehow justify the once a year holiday splurge on not so healthy food choices by calling it the “holidays”. This year make a conscious effort to stick to healthier food choices that will nourish the body and keep the mind healthy and sharp during such a busy time such as pumpkin soups or roasted veggies. Balance your plate by serving a lean protein and leafy greens, accompanied by your holiday favorites.
- Empty stomachs and parties don’t mix. It’s not a good idea to leave for a party on an empty stomach. Make yourself a quick protein snack before leaving to avoid arriving ravenous and binging on chips and unhealthy dips. Eating prior will also help prevent any blood sugar spikes and premature intoxication once the bottles start flowing and keep you in a festive mood.
- Remember to eat mindfully. Practice mindful eating this season by taking a few moments to truly be in the moment when you eat. Sit at the dining table with your family and friends and consider the efforts you made and those of others to prepare the wonderful meal by showing gratitude. Turn off any electronics so you and your dinner mates can enjoy this time together without distractions.
- Remember to take it easy. The end of year is a busy time for everyone. Meals are being planned, parties are being held, and last minute shopping is being tended to but amidst the chaos remember to take breaks for yourself. Remember to pay attention to your own needs and to spend time doing the things that make you feel centered. Cuddles with the kids, a yoga class, a brisk walk, or a movie night with your significant other might be just what the doctor orders.
Check out this awesome recipe: Maple Roasted Root Veggies