Holiday cheer and this time of the year is often filled with celebration, friends, family and togetherness. It’s also filled with long “to-do” lists, stress, toxicity and unhealthy food. Instead of adding additional physical and emotional stress to your plate, try some of these tips for a happier and healthier holiday season.
Give Yourself the Gift of Balance
What I’m proposing is a complete mindset shift around how you honor your body and your self-care needs during the holiday season. This is a time for giving, so how about you give yourself a gift that’s going to nourish you beyond the 10-minute sugar rush of that wretchedly unhealthy fruit cake your aunt likes to make.
Be mindful and intentional with your food choices
There is nothing wrong with enjoying good food during the holiday season. You will have plenty of opportunities between the parties, work events and gatherings with friends and family. With that being said, this should not be an opportunity to sabotage your goals and health between now and the New Year. If you find yourself grabbing junk food or guzzling down extra alcohol, ask yourself how you’re feeling. Are you stressed? Depressed? Anxious? Emotions play a huge role in our food (and alcohol) choices. Being in tune with your mindset, feelings, and intentions will play a large part in your choices.
If you know you have an upcoming event, make sure you eat something healthy and satisfying before you head out. While at your event or party, enjoy a little bit of something you’re craving or wanting to try and fill the rest of your plate with lean protein and veggies. You don’t have to feel deprived this holiday season, but don’t overdo it either.
Exercise is very important during the holiday season. Have you heard “endorphins make you happy?” It’s true! Not only is it important to get that booty moving when it’s cold outside (and year round), but it helps with your mood too! This is a great time to join a gym, start a new fitness class, or find some new gal pals for accountability. Are you more of the “outdoorsy” type? Grab your skis or ice skates and bundle up for a fun event. Find what makes you happy and get others involved. Whatever you choose, keep it moving!
Find Time for Rest
Yes, exercise is important but so is rest! Especially during the busy holiday season. Your body needs it!!! Not only will you feel more refreshed, but it will help with your stress levels and keep you from making poor choices. If you’re finding it difficult to manage a rest and sleep schedule, you may need to make some changes in your routine. Sleep should be a priority; especially this time of the year. Try going to bed and waking up around the same time. Limit your television and technology viewing a few hours before bed. Relax in a hot bath with some lavender and other oils. Grabbing a good book and cup of tea helps in the evening too. Again, find what works for you and make it a priority. Rest is not something that should be negotiable any time of year.
Bump Up the Self Care
If you’re one of my clients or follow me on social media, you know how much I stress Self Care. This is something I had to learn the hard way but it’s something I make a priority in my own lifestyle. Why? Because it’s SO important! Especially this time of the year!
Women are the first ones to put themselves last! If you resonate with this statement, then you may need to ask yourself how much you’re adding self care into your lifestyle. A hot epsom salt bath, massage, yoga class or new outfit can make a huge difference. You’re not being selfish! You’re taking care of you and in turn, will benefit so many around you. When the holiday season is stressful and you’re feeling run down, bump up the self care. It’s good for the body and mind!
Set Boundaries with Your Family
Talk to your family and explain that you’ll be doing things differently this year. Share with them that just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you’re going to settle for nutritionally deprived foods that take more than they give your body. Explain that you’ll be creating some healthy delicious options and offer to share with them – it is the holidays, after all!
Beware of Toxic People
The holidays can bring upon stress when it comes to gatherings with friends and family. We often hear about “tolerating” someone for an event or evening. You may feel uncomfortable being around a group of friends or family members. Whatever the case, choose wisely. Ask yourself if the stress, anxiety and frustration is worth it. I am not saying to isolate yourself from your family and friends, but choose what makes you happy and feel healthy. Maintaining distance and setting limitations may better serve you. You should surround yourself with those who light you up and make you happy.
Exercise Your Creativity in the Kitchen
Try new and exciting recipes. Splurge and buy expensive superfoods, interesting fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t always get, nuts and seeds, and truffled extra-virgin olive oil. I’ve become a huge fan of specialty oils and balsamic vinegar. I love the incredible flavors and I enjoy cooking more when I use specialty ingredients.
Healthy food can be totally gourmet and special too. Make your own homemade chocolate with mint leaves and stevia for sweetness. Adorn your salads with pomegranates and walnuts. Go out of your comfort zone and see what healthy meals you can whip up with some new ingredients.
If you’re looking for a SWEET and healthier treat, I welcome you to check out my favorite recipe to share with friends and family during the holidays. Not only is Dark Chocolate Coconut and Cranberry Bark super easy to make but it’s enjoyed by many! It stores well, looks adorable in a treat bag, and is enjoyed just as much when frozen or refrigerated.
I hope you found some value in these tips. Even though they are all important, incorporating a few of them can make a huge difference in your holiday season. This time of the year passes so quickly, so I encourage you to make it a magical, happy time.
Today’s author: Kim Wilson is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHC) and owns her own business, Kim Wilson, LLC, which specializes in empowering and educating women to get to the root of what’s going on with their own unique, individual body. She works with women one-on-one and coaches through online groups and programs. Learn more about Kim at her website www.kimwilson.me, from her Facebook page, or find her on Instagram.
We’ve gathered 6 tips from your coaches at Wholistic Woman to reduce holiday stress! We hope you can use them to be your best YOU this holiday season and enjoy the holidays with friends and family rather than suffer from stress or anxiety.
These stress-reducing tips are meaningful for men and women alike:
- Be Curious – Stress can be cumulative; often during this time of year we may be so busy that we don’t feel it building. When tension mounts, turn to wonder. Pause and ask yourself, I wonder what’s really bothering me today? By taking a few minutes to check-in and notice the source of your stress you will gain the necessary insight to take action. Then take one small step to be kind to yourself and alleviate it. ~ Carol deLaski
- Be Grateful – Turn your stress around by re-framing it with gratitude. When you notice a stressor that consumes your energy, try to think of something within that situation for which you can be grateful. For example: My partner and I are having difficulties, at the moment, and are fighting. I am grateful that I have a best freiend to share my feeling with today. ~ Kat Middleton
- Be Proactive – Set the tone of each day by taking care of yourself first thing in teh morning with rituals and routines like exercise, meditation, and positive affirmations. ~ Casey Clark
- Be Unique – Get creative with what you have; take the pressure off yourself and become a leader looking within and creating gifts that are unique and environmentally friendly by using natural resources. ~ Elisabeth Vismans
- Be Healthy – In addition to times of celebration with friends and family, the holidays can also be filled with long to-do lists and unhealthy eating. During this time, be mindful of making food choices in moderation, staying active, relaxing, and avoiding toxic people. Be intentional about your health and set boundaries that support your well-being. ~ Kim Wilson
- Be Generous – The holidays can be expensive, and we are often short on time during this busy season. Consider giving the gift of YOU rather than a material gift to eliminate some of that holiday stress. You can save money while giving someone a meaningful gift of your service and time after the holidays. For example, give the gift of running errands for an elderly family member or neighbor during the winter months. ~ Donna Kettell
- Be the best YOU this holiday season and stay stress-free!
Be the best YOU this holiday season as you minimize stress and seek JOY!
Happy holidays from your Wholistic Woman coaches!
The holidays are here and they can bring lots of fun with family and friends, perhaps baking your favorite Christmas cookies, or decorating a beautiful tree!
At the same time, the holidays can sometimes be stressful, expensive, and leave you feeling very short on time to take care of yourself. I might have just the remedy this year. Consider the idea of giving the gift of YOU rather than a material gift. This can really be an especially nice idea when the whole family or several friends join in.
What’s the benefit of doing this? Well, there are several – you can save some money by giving someone the gift of service and your time. And you can save some time over the holiday season when your gift is “delivered” in 2018! Remember, you will have more available time after the holidays are over. Last but not least, you can give a unique gift, one that only you could ever give — YOU! Give your time to a family member or friend in a way that’s uniquely meaningful for them.
Here are a just few ideas:
- Be the gift of helpfulness to your elderly grandmother by offering to do her grocery shopping or other errands for the winter months.
- Give the gift of a sanity break to your wonderful neighbors by offering to babysit for their small children so they can go out to dinner on their own.
- Give your sweet parents a handmade gift certificate good for one home cooked meal at your home once a week for the year, so you can spend more time with them.
- Offer to clean out your sister’s closet for her, since you are good at that and she desperately wants the help!
- Offer to sit with a friend as they tackle a task they are dreading – just the company can make the task less daunting!
- Tell a neighbor that your gift to them is to shovel all of their snow during January, February, and March.
- Offer your busy brother and his wife the gift of a much-needed break by driving their kids to all of their sports practices for a month.
- Tell your good friend who just lost her job that you’ll create a fabulous new résumé with her and show her how to create a LinkedIn profile.
The key ingredient in this process is to really imagine what your gift recipient would wish for that would add more joy, relaxation, or just a great big smile on their face. Your gift will leave the recipient knowing that you really thought about them and what they truly needed in their life right now. When your gift is received, your kindness will be remembered far longer than any material gift you might have given.
There are so many fun possibilities, and none of them cost you any time or money over the holidays. You save money, take time to do something nice for others when you have more available time, and wind up feeling pretty blessed in the process!
Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy the season of giving YOU!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
I love the holidays. I love the connection and spirit that surrounds us throughout the month of December. I’ve often thought that the magic of Christmas, or any holiday you celebrate, is a reflection of who you are in each season of the year.
We each have holiday traditions that have special meaning for us. When I was little we always opened a gift or two on Christmas Eve…which was my mother’s favorite day of the year and has become mine as well.
Over the years, for me, the holiday spirit has shifted from getting presents to giving them. I pause more often as I decorate the tree and remember details about each ornament. I decorate the house one day at a time instead of rushing through the process. When I send holiday cards I connect with some people that I have not been in touch with in 365 days.
I notice that many people feel rushed during the holidays and overwhelmed. In fact, a close friend of mine is offering a service especially designed to help those individuals. In the past few years I like to slow down, take it all in, and savor this delicious time of the year. Sometimes I feel a little like Mrs. Claus spreading the joy…and sometimes toys!
Here are my favorite ways to savor the joy of the holiday and keep spirits bright:
• Turn on the twinkly lights in the house during the day and night
• Wear festive sparkly clothes, dress up my pugs, and have an open house
• Plan lunch or dinner with close friends to celebrate
• Reconnect with friends and family through cards and family photos
• Play holiday music in my house and car and sing out loud
• Keep traditions alive and make new ones every year; like baking cookies or mixing nuts
• Watch at least three holiday movies – my favorites are The Holiday, Love Actually, and The Family Stone…as well as the classics too!
Watching the movie Family Stone recently sparked my interest to reflect on special moments. It inspired me to go through old pictures and I framed one of my mother and brother when he was just 10 days old. I plan to give it to him for Christmas. I know he will be touched by this gift of a reminder of our mother. The gift of memories is precious, indeed.
The holidays are not a one size fits all…no two are exactly the same.
What keeps your spirits bright over the holidays?
What traditions do you have?
How do you savor your holiday?
I hope you will embrace the surprises of the season and enjoy creating new memories that you might frame in the future.
Wholistic Woman Retreats sends you bright light and love this holiday season.
Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate are what help her clients develop, spark action and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com