Creating Low-Stress Holidays
Fall is a wonderful time of year; it is a time of transition from restful summer months to the routine of school and business of holiday preparation. Although holidays are special moments of the year that enable us to spend time with loved ones, they can also be stressful and deviate us from sticking to our usual health habits. Here are a few tips to consider incorporating into this holiday season to make it healthful, low-stress and fun!
Lower stress levels:
- Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness allows us to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and general environment. It enables us to be present and not concern ourselves with the past or worry about the future. This is helpful as sometimes the holiday season can bring up unpleasant memories or anxieties surrounding events to come. It is a means of practicing acceptance of how we feel in the moment without judging it as right or wrong, good or bad. This is a very freeing practice and can be helpful in lowering stress by releasing beliefs of how the holidays should play out thereby minimizing disappointment if things do not meet your expectations.
- Embrace the spirit: Be nicer to people than usual. This can be as simple as practicing more patience or performing random acts of kindness. Studies show that there is a link between gratitude and random acts of kindness with stress reduction, increased energy, lower heart rate and balanced cortisol levels.
- Rescue remedy: A trusted blend of herbal flower essences that has been widely used since the 1930s. This formulation is intended to help you cope with the emotional aspects of stressful situations by helping to promote relaxation, focus and calmness. It is a very safe and effective treatment and can be used in children, pregnant women, the elderly and even pets!
Hone your Health:
- Digestive enzymes: As the holidays only come once every year, we tend to over indulge in the comfort foods and goodies associated with these events. This makes sticking to our typical dietary routines more challenging and can disrupt our digestive habits. Certain supplements, like digestive enzymes, can be helpful in digesting those large meals and foods we are not accustomed to eating. Inquire about which type may be helpful for you at your next appointment.
- Turkey trot: Many cities have an annual turkey trot that locals can participate in on Thanksgiving morning. This can be a fun way to get some exercise before feasting on Thanksgiving dinner.
- Limit sugar: It is hard not to given into temptation when you see all the delicious sweets and treats related to the holiday season. Although desserts are tasty once in a while, too much sugar can have some detrimental effects due to its pro-inflammatory nature. Check out our recipe section for a delicious twist on apple pie using the Baked Apple Pie Apples recipe!
Filled with Fun:
- Create a time capsule: Create a family or group time capsule with family and friends this year. Ask each person to bring or write something down that represents something they are thankful for or something that represents 2014 to him or her. Than have everyone write down a prediction for the next holiday gathering or a prediction for the coming year. Place all items in a designated container and keep them safe for one year. You can then plan on opening it up at you soiree the following year and reminisce about past events and see how accurate the predictions were.
- Volunteer: Volunteering your time is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and can be a fun way to meet new people. Helping others and being compassionate is linked to higher self-esteem, psychological well-being and happiness.
- Music & movies: Create a family holiday playlist with your favorite songs and play it during the holiday season. You can also create a movie marathon with family favorites and choose days to watch the movies as a way of celebrating the season.