Life is already stressful on its own. Add the chaotic schedule of the holidays into the mix and you can easily burn out the few remaining embers of your internal fire. The pressure of hosting, gift giving, finding outfits, and cooking your butt off can set you up for a failed start at a healthier New Year. Yes, we are indeed speaking the truth. Burning the midnight oil throughout the holidays does not benefit your mind, body or spirit, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The key to managing stress levels during the holidays is by making a conscious effort to allot time for self-care each day. Most people neglect personal health, be it mental or physical, and unhealthy patterns develop, often times carrying over into the New Year. Personal care encompasses everything that has to do with keeping the body as healthy as possible. From diet and exercise to meditation and positive affirmations, caring for the self is essential for a stronger mind and body. Here are a few simple tips that you can employ during the holidays, or throughout the year, to keep yourself healthy.
Check exercise and meditation off your wellness list when you take part in mindful walking during the holidays. While the cold air can be a bit harsh, walking outside is one of the best ways to detach yourself from the stressors of life during the holidays. Mindful walking, often referred to as walking meditation, is the practice of paying close attention to your surroundings and your steps. This less-concentrated form of meditation can be done individually or in a group, and it helps to establish a healthier mind/body connection. Most people find that mindful walking helps them become more in tune with their bodies and proves to be useful for relieving stress.
Nourish With Nutrition
It can be easy to veer from your diet during the holidays, what with cookies, pastries, fatty foods, and more coming at your from all angles. There’s also the fact that people eat out more because they don’t have the time to cook as much. Instead of feeling less than great, let’s change this up and take the time to focus on filling the body up with nutritious whole foods. The body cannot naturally detoxify when stress levels are high, but eating fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains can aid this process. It is also beneficial to avoid sugar because it doesn’t do your body any good, contributing to fat accumulation and blood sugar spikes. Additionally, dedicate a reusable bottle for water and water only, since dehydration is fairly common during the holidays. Fill it up several times a day, aiming to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water. Keep your food choices simple and focus on supplying your body with nutrients!
Adopt A Nighttime Routine
A lot of emphasis gets placed on the importance of morning routines, but most people fail to establish a healthy nighttime routine. Put your mind in the right state in order to fall asleep more easily and maximize the quality of your sleep. Most of us scroll through our phones, watch TV, or dive down a rabbit hole of Internet videos before bed, all of which do not encourage healthy sleep. The body needs sleep to recover, especially during the holidays, so take some time to establish a nighttime routine. It could be as simple as taking a bath, listening to guided meditation, reading 20 pages from a book, or practicing a yoga routine.
Find A Creative Outlet
We don’t have to tell you how good you feel when you find something that you really enjoy and care about. The energy you put forth into a passion project can seem like it never ends, no matter how long you work. Keeping your brain active and interested helps to keep you mentally and physically healthy. Whether you need to get back to painting, ceramics, writing, or creating music, get back to what you love and take the time to actually do it during the holiday season.