The best present you can give yourself is one of health and wellness.
I know for me, the months of November and December are usually a whirlwind of fun, family, booze and food. And then, January arrives, bringing with it that post-holiday guilt.
What if you started off this new year feeling as good as ever, without feeling physically worn out and emotionally depleted? This year, I set a goal of taking care of myself for the holiday season. Here are some tips I’ll be practicing in order to achieve this goal; you may find them helpful as well.
1.) Know thyself. Are you an all-or-nothing type of person or are you able to exercise self-discipline in the area of food? For me, a self-proclaimed member of the former group, I have always heard “everything in moderation.” This never worked for me. It was either don’t partake in the fill-in-the-blank-calorie-dense-food-of-choice, or overindulge like a little piglet. I continue to work on my self-control in this area. In the meantime, I avoid eating foods that I know are particularly tempting at social gatherings because I know I will never stop. The next morning I always feel a lot better and I am grateful I didn’t overindulge.
2.) Don’t sabotage your own fun. Do you have a particular person you are so thankful to see only once a year? That dreaded family member or holiday guest? Perhaps they just get on your nerves or maybe it’s more serious and you have a history of fighting. As hard as this may be to overcome, know that by having a bad time during the holidays, the only person you are hurting is you. Also, you may be causing those you love to have a bad time as well. Take a few minutes before you know you will be seeing this person to center yourself. Try to focus on the positive qualities this person may have to offer. Everyone has at least one. I see that look on your face — but it’s true. If this may seem impossible for you, keep in mind that soon you will lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends. You will want to enjoy yourself as much as possible during that special time.
3.) Value your body enough to exercise. Let’s face it, the holidays can be a much busier time for us all. And, because there are only a certain number of hours in each day, one of the first things to get pushed aside is working out. I would argue the holiday season is one of the times when we need physical activity the most! Exercise helps boost our immune system, assists with maintaining a positive emotional state, manages stress and helps to counteract those extra calories we are consuming during this time of year. Find creative ways of moving! Workouts don’t have to happen at the gym. Do you have a guest in town? Invite them to go on a walk or run with you. Dance at a party or family gathering. While you are spending time together, you will be enjoying a favorite physical activity as well.
4.) Set boundaries when it comes to gifts. If your finances are tight or if you don’t have the time to shop for everyone, find creative ways of showing your appreciation for those people. Could you offer a service such as babysitting in lieu of a purchased gift? Could you do a “Secret Santa” instead? Sometimes being honest with yourself is really the best policy. Explain to everyone that your finances are tight, and you can not comfortably afford gifts at this time. Let them know you will not be expecting anything in return either. You may be surprised how many people would not have a problem with this.
5.) Give back to others in some way. Do you not have enough time? Donate money. Do you not have enough money? Donate your time. Don’t have either? Do a favor for someone. No matter how small, any act of service to your community is truly appreciated.
Amanda Rex is a Health Coach who helps people to live their best life. For many years she struggled with anxiety. She slowly improved it through the pursuit of an honest, healthy, and happy life. After experiencing the positive mental and physical changes that developed by simply listening to her intuition, she decided she wanted to share what helped her with the world in order to improve the lives of others.
Amanda is receiving her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching to individuals and groups. She enjoys live music, cooking, volunteering, personal finance, discovering new cultures, and living in The Big (Organic) Apple. You can follow her on her website or on Facebook.
Ed: Tara Lemieux