As a health practitioner I have always noticed that right after Thanksgiving, people start to really stress out. It seems that every organization, school and extra activity has some event/party connected to the holiday season. If you are as busy with activities as most folks, this becomes a booby-trap for stress.
When you are a real food family, or are on a restricted diet, it becomes even more of a chore to prepare for these holidays. We are supposed to be having fun, but with all the added chores, it can really start to overwhelm. However, scheduling in me time will help get you through.
Simple Ways to Protect and Pamper Yourself
Stay prepared with freezer meals and crock pot meals so that you are not stranded at the last minute without a good meal. It’s very important to eat nourishing, real foods during the holidays because there will be times when you do cheat or go off a little. Eating well will ward off illness.
Batch Cook with a Friend
Pick a day when you can get together with a friend and batch cook some holiday meals together. The company will keep you focused and will make the tasks fun. More about batch cooking here. Some serious batch cooking here.
Set aside time during your day to make sure you get some exercise. It is a fine way to burn off some of those extra calories and it is something to do for yourself. If you are already on an exercise program be sure to stick with it during this time. If you don’t go to a gym, grab a friend and walk — you can even do this during your lunch break.
Meditation or Deep Breathing
Just sitting in a quiet place with the intention to clear your mind will be totally refreshing. You don’t even have to formally meditate — just having a few minutes to yourself to close your eyes can help.
Soak in a Bath
Shut the bathroom door and run a warm bath. Add some epsom salts or magnesium salts for a totally relaxing experience. Further, add some lavender essential oil drops and you will sleep like a baby. You deserve it.
Have Some Fun
Really. Sometimes it’s hard to have fun when there are so many tasks connected to holiday events, but try to step away from the work aspect of it and enjoy the experience. If it snows where you live, go sledding with your kids! Relax! The Food prep will wait.
You don’t have to carry the burden all on your own. Get help from everyone around you. Every person in your household should have some tasks and should be able to help in the kitchen in some way. It is also a lot more fun for them to be involved.
Get a Chiropractic Adjustment or a Massage
An adjustment will keep your spine aligned and get pressure off the nerves. These nerves go to all the tissues and organs in your body so when they are malfunctioning, it can create havoc in your body. The adjustment take the pressure off the nerves and allows the body to heal itself naturally. This is a good thing when you are under stress.
A massage addresses the muscles and will help work out a spasm or tightness in those pesky problem areas like the upper back and neck. It’s a good thing to do for yourself!
Have a Timeout with a Friend
Meet a friend for coffee or lunch just to chat and catch up. Keep it local so you can get back on task in a reasonable time frame — feeling refreshed. Or have a night out with a friend. That’s an hour and a half of time to relax and enjoy something for yourself.
Be Realistic About Money
Don’t over extend your budget — money is the top issue that creates stress over the holidays. Discuss with your family how to have realistic expectations in terms of gifts. Choose to make many of the gifts for relatives — homemade gifts are really appreciated and children have so much fun making them! Get some wonderful ideas here for homemade gifts.
Do all of these things — or even some of them — and you will be much better off. Then go ahead, enjoy your holidays!
Oh, and one last thing, for a really funny treat — go Elf Yourself. We had a really good laugh and laughing, as you know, is the best medicine!
Relax and enjoy your holidays!