Happy Holidays. That’s a command – not a statement. “I love it when the holidays hit and I’m so stressed out from purchasing gifts, cleaning, decorating and cooking!” Said no mom. Ever.
The holidays are supposed to be wondrous. Families gather, delicious food is shared and bountiful blessings are bestowed on those who seek the true meaning in gathering and gift-giving. But all too often the stress of visiting with, ahem, less-than-perfect family members, financial obligations and errands has you wishing some of the holiday magic could send you elsewhere. Like to the nearest spa. So here’s what I’m proposing for this upcoming season: Put yourself at the top of your list. Nourish your body properly, rest well and take care of your emotional health during this season and you’ll experience more fa la la’s than arrghs! If you’re stressed, cortisol increases, which means so does your appetite . . . and your desire for sugar, salt and fat. Ugh. However, keep your cortisol calm and you’ll keep the crazies in check. Sound like a plan? Here’s how:
- Make way for workouts: Schedule these in and don’t flake. Cardio workouts relax tense muscles and release endorphins perfect for stopping stress. Even just 10-15 minutes a day can do wonders for your stress level (and your metabolism)
- Meander to meditation: Whether you take a yoga class or sit still in your living room, you’re going to stop, think and breathe in a way that can radically reduce stress.
- Bust out a healthy breakfast: Choose something with healthy protein, lots of fiber and good carbs, such as steel-cut oatmeal, eggs or a smoothie. Bonus points if you buddy-up to blueberries.
- Suss out the sugar in your day: Be mindful of what you’re snacking on. Choose things like nuts and berries, crispy kale chips and apples with peanut butter, instead of “chocolate covered” something. Check that morning latte too, it could be the downfall of your entire day!
One final note. The more relaxed you appear, the better time your family will have. And that’s the whole point of the holiday season. Enjoy. Revel. Love. Repeat.