Proven Strategies to Stay Healthy and Happy While Navigating the Holiday Season
The holiday season can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride from anxiety to exuberance to depression, all within a matter of weeks. Attitudes change as temperatures drop and colder weather sets in. In North America, while we may experience an abundant harvest time, nature is actually slowing down and animals are preparing to hibernate. Yet many people are caught in a consumption frenzy, rushing through shopping malls, overwhelming themselves physically and financially.
With a range of emotions and activities tugging at you, contemplate:
- What can I change to cope more effectively?
- Is there a healthier way to move through the holiday season?
- How can I experience greater ease, serenity, and joy at this time?
First, accept that you have the potential for healthy change. Determine what’s most important for you and expect to enjoy the holidays. Consider these options:
Optimize Self-Care Practices to Release Stress and Create Serenity.
- Spend quality time outdoors in nature. Go to a park, the beach, forest or mountains and attune yourself to nature’s wisdom. Allow the sights, smells and sounds to enliven your senses.
- Make pampering a priority. Relax in a hot tub or soak in your home tub with bubbles, aromatherapy candles, and soothing music. You can also treat yourself to therapeutic massage, reflexology or a Reiki treatment.
- Check into a retreat center or engage in a silent retreat. Make it your way of slowing down, turning in and hibernating to renew your energy and spirit.
Implement Feasible Spending Parameters. Rather than face the New Year in debt and regret, develop a spending plan. Use discernment and discipline, not a denial of this season’s expenditures. For example:
- Give gift certificates or handmade gifts. Exchange items that you’ve never used or no longer use with friends. It’s a gift for the new recipient.
- When gathering with family or close friends, make it a potluck or go to a favorite restaurant agreeing that everyone will chip in on the tab.
- Take advantage of the post-holiday sales and share gifts in the New Year.
- Create a holiday season savings account and make monthly deposits.
Reconnect with the true meaning and rituals of the Holy Day season within your faith tradition.
In addition, you may choose to engage in community service or volunteer at a shelter. Help gather and/or distribute care packages to the homeless. The gift of your time and talent can make a positive difference for people, as well as boost your level of gratitude.
I’ve shared several options to help you experience optimal bodymindspirit well-being during the holiday season. Implement one or two options that appeal to you or one that you and a family member or friend can do together. Create your own stress-free, fun-filled strategies. Furthermore, if you’ve slacked off your normal health regime, don’t wait until the New Year. Resume it now, so that you start the New Year invigorated and empowered.
Whatever strategies you choose to navigate the holiday season, do so with an attitude of gratitude, appreciation and celebration. Make time to relax, re-assess and rejoice, allowing yourself to end this year and begin next year joyfully.