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10 ways to take care of yourself during the holidays.

Updated: May 23

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 together.


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)


Get Outdoors.

Being in nature calms your system, makes you feel connected to something bigger. It will relax you.


Exercise.

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.


Limit Expectations.

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

wants 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. You can't please everyone.


Gratitude!

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.


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