HEALTHY HOLIDAY GUIDE
The holiday season can be a joyous time of celebration, warm connection, family time, and community. However, it can also be a time of stress and overindulgence. It’s easy to overextend ourselves and absorb energy from others, so it’s important to discover ways to ground ourselves and find peace. Practice taking long, deep breaths and take quiet time to unwind. Make conscious choices, establish boundaries, exercise, and nourish your body with healthy food. Offering this to yourself makes it so much easier to give more love and gratitude to those around you.
As we shift into the winter season, begin making self care, quiet time, and self-reflection a top priority. This connection to the rhythms and cycles of nature creates a sense of calm and wellbeing. Nourish and enjoy yourself this holiday!
SLOW DOWN | This time of year has us rushing from one thing to the next in a flurry of energy and emotion. A great way to help you feel at ease is to incorporate meditation into your daily life. This can be done at any time throughout the day – but starting your morning with meditation offers clarity and calm that lasts all day. Become still, close your eyes, and focus on deep belly breaths. For those with a busy mind, try guided meditation – I love Tara Brach!
MOVE | In the cooler months, it’s important to avoid stagnation. Take this time to embrace the change of seasons and get outside! Go for long walks (especially after meals), take the stairs whenever possible, and keep your body fluid by practicing yoga at home or in class. This will keep your Qi flowing, boost your immune system, release positive endorphins, and help you move with ease throughout the season.
Exercise not only helps to lower stress hormones, it also helps to increase feel-good hormone receptors in the brain. We tend to skip exercise when we get busy or overwhelmed, but even the shortest bursts of movement can help. A great way to keep yourself moving is to incorporate shorter workouts into your daily life. Try a brisk walk or pump up the music and dance your heart out at home until you really break a sweat.
STAY HYDRATED | It’s the key to radiating from within! Drink half your body weight in ounces everyday to keep your body systems regulated. For instance, if you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 ounces of water daily. This will keep cravings at bay, support digestion, and give you more energy & glowing skin. If you choose to drink alcohol, stick to organic wine or champagne, and make sure to increase your water intake that day. Abstain from water 30 minutes before and after each meal to enhance digestion, especially with heavier meals.
To make hydration easier, carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go and fill up throughout the day.
EAT CONSCIOUSLY | Eat slowly, don’t overeat, and try to stick to a plant-based diet. Bring a healthy dish to a holiday party or eat something before you go, so you don’t overindulge in too many processed or sugary foods. If your system is feeling overburdened, try a short cleanse to give your digestive system a break.
Keep your focus on fun, not food. Food doesn’t have to be the main source of enjoyment this holiday season. Connect through other holiday activities and feel better all season long.
With the excesses that tend to occur during holiday events, our liver and immune system need a little extra support. Sip lemon water each morning & afternoon – a perfect way to create inner harmony and alkalinity.
TAKE SPACE + UNPLUG | We don’t need to say yes to everything. It’s okay to create boundaries and say no to anything that feels like too much. Giving yourself time and space will help you feel more present and relaxed, with more to offer the world around you.
THINGS TO TRY:::
· Take tech breaks – Whenever possible, shut down all devices at least an hour before bed to support deep, restorative sleep. Leave your phone at home when you don’t absolutely need it & take full weekends to completely unplug from all social media. Try to give yourself at least an hour each morning before checking your phone. This unplugged time is crucial to our well-being and sanity.
· Relax with an Epsom salt bath soak – Soaking in a warm tub with Epsom salts a few times a week will promote relaxation, balance electrolytes, and restore & rejuvenate dry, irritated skin, WHILE delivering magnesium to your body! Getting enough magnesium can help improve sleep quality, balance and reduce stress hormones, improve mood, decrease muscle tension, and prevent and treat headaches & migraines. No bathtub? You can still reap the benefits of magnesium by creating a footbath with Epsom salts. I love Omica Organics magnesium flakes!
· Journal – Journaling allows us to take a few minutes to slow down, reflect, and practice our gratitude, which is so helpful for connecting to what’s important. Instead of mulling over negative thoughts and things that don’t serve you, try letting them go by writing out your thoughts & jotting down what you’re grateful for. Acknowledging what’s good in your life vs. focusing on what you lack will raise your vibration and put you in a better mindset. Gratitude practices can also alleviate stress, boost your immunity, and improve your sense of well-being. Begin setting the stage for the energy you want to reflect & draw in.
· Get a massage – Release your stress-fighting hormones while you forget about your to-do list, loosen up your tense muscles, and relieve some aches & pains. Massage is a powerful tool for reconnecting to your body and coming into stillness.
EXPRESS GRATITUDE | This is what it’s about – gratitude, appreciation, and thoughtfulness. You get what you give, and it’s time to give thanks to everyone & everything in your life supporting your existence. Take this time to slow down and center yourself in the feeling of gratitude. When we give thanks, we affect all the people around us. Take time to write thank you cards, reach out to loved ones, and recognize the things you have to be grateful for in your life. Write a list of things you’re grateful for on a regular basis. Living with an attitude of gratitude will change your whole world.
REST | It’s imperative that we rest, especially when life gets busy. During the cooler months, going to bed earlier and following your natural circadian rhythms will have you feeling your very best. Getting extra sleep boosts immunity, regulates hormones, and balances body weight.
When you fall behind on your sleep, the body starts overproducing a hormone called ghrelin, “the hunger hormone.” This sends signals to the body that you’re still hungry & you will find yourself wanting to snack all day long. Stave off cravings by getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated. Be cautious not to drive yourself too hard or make too many commitments; we all tend toward this during the holidays.
Try to get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night and do your best to get to bed before midnight. If you skimp the night before, give yourself permission to take a 30-minute catnap at some point in your day. Poor sleep impacts your hormones, specifically cortisol. When elevated for long periods of time it can lead to weight gain, mood disturbances, anxiety, and inflammation.
THINGS TO TRY:::
· Use an eye mask to block light that may be disrupting your sleep
· Listen to white noise as you fall asleep
· Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Your body will thank you for sticking to a schedule.
· Use essential oils like lavender or bergamot to help calm the mind and nerves. You can dab some behind your ears, on your temples, or even on your pillow.
· Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature – 69º is perfect!
· If you’re still having trouble settling down, try GABA as it supports relaxation & balanced sleep-wake cycles. GABA is also helpful during the day if you’re experiencing off-the-charts anxiety!
· Replace a glass of wine with a cup of chamomile, passionflower or lemon balm tea to ease stress & worry. This will help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed.