Three Tips for Happier Holidays
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
During the holiday season, we are very busy with buying gifts and planning for others. I'd like to invite you to take a moment for yourself to check in with what you need. What is something that you have been wanting to do? What is something that you have been wanting to say? The holiday season can be special, stressful, magical, sad, and heart breaking for some. The holidays affect every one differently. Some people enjoy going home to see family while others cringe at the thought and plan on cuddling with their pets. Whatever your holiday looks like, here are three tips to make it a little brighter:
1) Be grateful!
Did you know that being grateful helps reduce inflammation in the body and can help you live longer? I try to practice gratitude daily - even when things are stressful or seem down. You can practice gratitude for the little things like breathing, seeing with your eyes, and moving your legs to walk. It is important that we do not take these little things for granted. Along with the little things, I am grateful for last weekend...
This is “girls giving”. A gathering of women started by my good friend Jennett three years ago to donate and make gifts for women and children in need. We gave 26 gifts and loads of other female necessities to two amazing local organizations: Connections for Abused Women and Children who houses victims of domestic violence, and Traffick Free who serves victims of sex trafficking. Excited for this to grow every year! If you’d like to join us next year, please contact me. All women are welcome!
I am also grateful to hang out with my nieces who are 8 and 2 years old. They are fun and I love being an aunt. I am grateful to have next week off to relax and slow down. Who else needs a break?? Recharging is vital to our physical, mental, and emotional health. I am grateful to my patients and all the people I have met this past year. It has been a joy working with everyone and creating relationships. I am grateful for natural medicine! I love helping people feel better with evidence based natural solutions! What are some things that you can be grateful for?
2) Speak Up!
Boundaries are important for yourself and for others. Having boundaries relates to things that you want to talk about, people you want to be around, and energy you want to spend. In order to set effective boundaries, we must be able to know what it is that we are feeling. You can ask, "Did this person's critical comment make me feel bad? Is this person making me feel overwhelmed or drained?" So now looking at your feelings, stop and recognize how your boundary has been crossed. Is this person always asking to borrow money from you but they never pay you back? Is this person always making critical comments towards you? Does this person always seem to have problems that you always have to help them with? Once you can recognize what it is that is causing you to feel overwhelmed, drained, or, simply, bad, then decide what it is that you need to say to this person. If someone keeps making critical comments towards you, then you can tell them that you don't appreciate being spoken to that way and that you will not accept it. If it's a family member who seems to always have problems for you to listen to and it's draining your energy, then its probably time to be sure you say something like, "Hey, I know you're in pain, but I have some of my own stuff to do right now." There are two things that often happen when boundaries in relationships have been weak: 1.There is backlash from the other person and 2.You feel guilty. For this reason, it is extremely important to get grounded within yourself. We can do this by simply taking the time to do some breath work, meditation, going for a walk, journaling, drawing, reading, or to tune in with your body.
For a simple meditation practice, I recommend bringing your awareness to your breathing. Notice the flow of air going in and out of your lungs. Thoughts are going to come up and this is normal. Bring your awareness back to your breathing. This helps us observe what is happening in the present moment. The more we practice this, the less anxiety, stress, and depression we may feel. Also, remember that your emotions are valid. You are not wrong for setting your boundary. In fact, you are taking care of yourself, which is something that we should all do above all else. Repeat after me, "I have every right to place limits on my energy. I am safe to express my needs. It is ok to be misunderstood." These affirmations are from holistic psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera. She teaches people how to heal themselves emotionally and mentally. Preserving our mental health is important around the holidays.
3) Be guilt free about dessert!
Holidays can be a difficult time to adhere to a healthy diet. That is okay. It can be difficult for most people, including me! I am looking forward to eating some homemade cookies and breads! It is a yearly tradition because my mom loves to bake. I like to replace food rather than restrict it. This year, we are swapping out some common food intolerances and allergies for healthier alternatives:
Dairy -> Nut milk
Eggs -> Banana/Applesauce
Sugar -> Honey/Dates
White flour -> Almond/Coconut flour
Jif peanut butter -> All natural peanut butter
Butter -> Avocado/Nut Butter
Ice Cream -> Non dairy ice cream
When it comes to eating inflammatory foods such as baked goods and sugary items...portion size is everything. Listen to your body when eating to avoid overeating. I have learned that being present when eating has helped me reduce the times I overeat. Another recommendation when enjoying holiday treats is to chew thoroughly so that you stomach produces a proper amount of enzymes to digest everything. Chewing enough helps reduce bloating. To prepare for the holiday, I work out, drink more water, and eat more whole, unprocessed foods. After holiday dinners, my family and I bundle up and go for a walk outside. It feels good to get fresh air and to move our bodies. It also helps digest all the food we just had. After the holiday break, I go back to getting hydrated, working out, and eating lots of vegetables. Guilt and shame be gone! Guilt and shame are not good for anyone's body or mental health. If you are allergic to certain foods then, listen to your body and avoid ingredients that are harmful for your body. You know your body best. If after a bite or two, your body does not agree with it, then appreciate the bites you had and enjoy other foods that your digestive system tolerates. Being healthy means having balance. I like the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat healthy, unprocessed, real foods while 20% of the time, enjoy yourself to some of life's delicacies. After the holiday, you can also get iv therapy which will hydrate you with vitamins. I will definitely be getting one! You can contact Green Circle Wellness for iv therapy options.
Want to know what your food sensitivities are?
Want to know how inflamed your body is?
Want to detox after the holiday?
Want natural solutions to feel better?
Let's chat! I'm here to support you physically, mentally, and emotionally.