The holidays can be an exciting time of year. But let’s be honest, it can be a stressful time as well. Granted – it can feel like the good kind of stress. This can show up as an influx of social opportunities, family togetherness, or even holiday travel. But to our bodies – stress is stress, regardless of the source. So all the more reason to increase the dosage of kindness, patience, and self-care towards ourselves. Here are just a few tips that I try to keep in mind for myself as the fa la la frenzy makes its presence known.
1. Stay Hydrated: Drink water throughout your day and at holiday parties. This can be simple and satisfying thing to do for yourself. Try drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning before your morning coffee or tea to help flush your system. Also try drinking a full glass of water before meals (and in between cocktails). This can help keep portions in check.
2. Practice Self-Compassion: You are going to indulge and that is ok. Feeling guilty or judging ourselves isn’t doing anyone any good. So allow yourself the occasional indulgence and you might as well try enjoying it in the process. Follow-up with tip 1, and move on.
3. Discover the Magic: Remember what the holidays are about and try to experience through a child’s eyes – literally. This is the time of year when the kids in our lives can be our greatest teachers with their genuine sense of wonder and excitement.
4. Stick to What Works: Contrary to my typical musing, I actually encourage people to not start anything new around this time of year. Stick to what works whether that is meditation, sleep, or exercise and focus on staying consistent with whatever that is. Sure, you can add a meditation booster, but let it be a bonus.
5. Daily Gratitude: One of the best ways to start a gratitude practice is simply by trying to let “thank you” be the first thing you say in the morning either silently or aloud. This can be targeted towards anyone or no one in particular. It’s simply about inviting gratitude in for the day. For more tips on boosting our gratitude muscle, check out the gratitude section on the blog.
6. Nap it Out: Sleep is the number one way our bodies release stress (meditation and exercise are second and third). So try to prioritize your sleep. Check out these 4 tips to set up for sleep success here. I embraced the art of napping during my cancer journey and discovered some important guidelines to napping which I value to this day. You can check out my ode to nap time here. So if you don’t get your regular night’s sleep, and if you are able, indulge in a nap to help restore and revitalize.