Ways To Keep Your Mind, Body & Spirit Healthy
Through The Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—all is merry and bright, right? Well, yes and no. While the holiday season is abundant with opportunities for connection, the endless energy demands, disrupted routines, late nights, and financial strain may leave you feeling drained, depleted, and disconnected. Fortunately, the following tried-and-true strategies can keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy throughout the rush of the holiday season.
1. Be Intentional with Your Time
Before committing to a party or gift exchange, check your intention. Are you doing something because it nourishes your spirit or are you doing it out of obligation? If it’s the latter, kindly communicate to the host that you are in need of some downtime but would love to schedule a time to catch up after the holidays. Then instead of heading out, head in: watch a movie with the family, sip hot cider by the fire, read a book, play board games, or engage in any other activity that lights up your heart.
2. Practice Mindfulness
A particularly powerful mindfulness practice is to bring awareness to your body. You can do this no matter where you are or who you are with. Observe your posture, notice where you are holding tension, and pay attention to how deeply your breath flows. The body can provide useful information about your subconscious interpretation of events. After scanning your body, ask yourself what you need in order to relax (hint: it cannot involve another person’s actions). Perhaps you would benefit from a walk around the block, a little snack, or some rest.
3. Find the Blessings of Imperfection
Do you have visions of sipping cocoa with your dreamy-eyed children by the fireplace, singing carols around the family room piano, or creating the perfect holiday meal? If so, you may be harboring expectations that set you up for disappointment. Idyllic holiday hopes often turn out more like spilled cocoa, crying children, and overcooked casserole. By adjusting your expectations, and allow yourself to receive the gifts in imperfection.
The spilled drink offers a spontaneously cleaned floor, the crying child reminds us that he is healthy and alive, and the food that catches on fire creates funny holiday memories. Daily life does not have to be flawless to be beautiful; it can be perfectly imperfect.
4. Eat Two Healthy Meals a Day
To maintain your commitment to health without depriving yourself, focus on having at least two healthy meals each day. If you know you will be going to eat a hefty dinner, eat a breakfast and lunch loaded with fresh produce, fiber, and healthy fats. When your schedule boasts more than one food festivity in a day, decide ahead of time which venue will be your splurge. Then make healthful choices at the other by opting for veggies over crackers, berries rather than dessert, and hot tea instead of cocktails.
5. Maintain a Regular Sleep Cycle
To stay healthy in body and mind, it is crucial to prioritize your sleep. In addition to getting enough sleep, maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle will support your body’s natural rhythm of hormone production, which in turn will contribute to greater health and wellness. Of course, you will have some late nights but try to wake up and start your day within one hour of your normal weekday wake-up time.
6. Stay Active
Don’t be afraid to spice up your physical fitness routine to accommodate a busy calendar. The key is to choose activities that keep you moving. As an added bonus, when you connect with others over physical activities, there will be fewer opportunities to overindulge in food and drinks.
To fit meditation into the frenzy of holiday activity, it is best to schedule a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day. Even if you only have ten minutes, those few moments spent consciously breathing and settling into the present moment can set the course for your day or evening.
8. Pay Attention to What Really Matters
It can be easy to get lost in the holiday shuffle and lose sight of what is important. To stay aligned with your personal values, make a brief list of your top priorities in the areas of health, relationships, spirituality, and work/career. Then rank your values from most important to less critical. To make sure that the activities of lesser importance do not eclipse those of higher value, keep the list visible and refer to it when making choices about how to use your time. Is family time or career-building higher on your list? There is no right or wrong answer. Just be sure to be intentional and conscious in your choices.
Cultivating awareness of how you choose to spend your time and energy will allow you to enjoy the laughter, connection, and, yes, even the treats of the holiday season, without compromising your health. The above steps toward self-care and intentional choice making will transform this season into the most wonderful time of the year!
Gift of Balanced Mind, Body & Spirit at
Just remember the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart -The Polar Express”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi-
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” – Alexander Smith –
Light warms the Heart and Brightens the Soul. Light energizes the body and Inspires the Mind. – Bella Bleue –
The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving. – James Cash Penney –
Body plus mind, plus soul, plus spirit equals YOU
Christmas …. is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.
– Freya Stark –
Be careful how you’re talking to yourself because you’re listening – Lisa Hayes –
I think as you grow older, your Christmas list gets smaller and the things you really want for the holidays can’t be bought.
– Unknown –
We are like a snowflake all different in our own beautiful way – unknown –
Just be yourself. Let people see the real imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, and magical person that you are. – unknown –
Your biggest commitment must always be to yourself
– Bridgett Devoue –
The way your spend Christmas is far more important than how much. – Henry David Thoreau-
Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and don’t give up.
To believe in something and not to live it, is dishonest. – Mahatma Gandhi –
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.
And I said to my body, softly, “I want to be your friend.” It took a long and replied, “I have been waiting my whole life for this.” – Nayyirah Waheed –
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