Thanksgiving is over and more
celebrations are on the way.
This year all of my siblings and
extended families were in town with their kids and grandkids.
I’m fortunate to be from a big
family - mom, dad, all ages of
siblings, nieces and nephews,
great nieces and nephews and
extended family of him, hers
and ours, and we all love being
There was a lot of talking, voices
blending into a cacophony of
sounds. There were big laughs,
a lot of joking and teasing, and
catching up. Some were watching
sports; others on their phones;
Some watching movies. There
was too much food and drink and
negotiations about what to eat,
what to do, who is going to go, when to leave, who will go with who. All the happenings of families coming together. I’m sure I’m not the only one who enjoys all of this, and it can be overwhelming as your senses are heightened in every way. And I didn’t want to miss the
chance to spend time with everyone. So, how do we balance being with people
we love, having less stress and taking care of ourselves during the holidays.
Here are 10 ideas…
Eat and Drink well. I love chocolate, cookies, pies, cakes, cheese- insert your favorite food here. All of these are delicious and make sure to drink enough water, throw in some greens, and eat healthy food as well.
Get Enough Rest. With the holidays you may be running around more. Take breaks to sit, nap, and
do get enough sleep. Everything is better when you feel rested and have energy.
(I’m still working on this one)
Being in nature calms your system, makes you feel connected to something bigger. It will relax you.
Take a walk, hike, stretch, bike ride, anything goes. Moving the body releases
serotonin, increases mood and makes you feel good.
Do an Act of Kindness. Call a friend to say hello; Pick up trash around your neighborhood; Bake for
someone; Deliver food to someone; Make cards for others. Being of service
will make you feel good and make someone else happy.
Check your Energy.
There are many holiday lights to see, get togethers, dinners, desserts, shopping. Take a breath and see where your energy is and what you need to do or say no to, so
you can take care of yourself.
Focus on one of your Senses.
Take a few minutes to sit and notice the sounds you hear. Stare out a window
and notice what you see. Bring your palms together, feel the fingers touch.
Rub your palms together and notice how it feels. This process works with any
of your senses and slows down the brain, which calms your system.
We all can build up expectations - everything has to be perfect, the
food just right, everyone should be happy. The more expectations, the greater the stress and the greater the letdown if everything doesn't go as planned. What if we limited expectations and enjoyed the moment. This is a way to reduce stress and be present, which is the happiest place to be.
Get Back to Your Values.
What is most important to you during this time of year? Are you someone who
loves connection, being with family? Do you value having an experience, a new
adventure? Do you value your peace and quiet and enjoy taking this time to
relax? Keeping your values in mind can help you get back to what is most
meaningful, reduce stress and increase happy.
Think of all that you have, how fortunate you are. Say it to yourself, write it down,
tell someone, pass around a gratitude jar. Focusing on what you are grateful for
is a powerful practice to reduce stress, increase positivity, calm and happiness.