Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. How can it not be? At the very least, winter in all its glory is celebrated. At the very most, we spend time with those we love, celebrating traditions and meaning. Families, friends, parties, presents, decorations, traditions, memories… and the stress. There’s the pressure to create the most lovely experience, especially for Santa, I mean Mom. And Dad. It passes in such a blur. And then it’s over. And we’re exhausted.
But, what if we could enjoy all the beauty and fun… the Umami of the season? With some Ballast underneath us, we can.
- Eat well. Provide some ballast. Stock the fridge with healthy foods.
These five foods reduce stress:
- Blood oranges
- Chamomile tea
- Eat an apple a day. This “Old Wives Tale” is based on nutritional fact. Apples contain Quercetin, which support immunity and all sorts of other good things for your body. And Quercetin passes through your body quickly.
- Snack before a Party. Don’t go hungry. (Apple, anyone?) With some preparation, you might not find yourself ordering the second egg nog (250 – 400 calories) shortly after arrival. Be more in control. Taste what you want because it looks delicious. Not because you’re ravenous. (An added bonus is that your sense of taste is heightened when you are neither hungry nor full. There’s a reason wine tastings are done at 10:00 am and 2:00 PM. It’s a couple hours after a meal but you’re not follow and you’re able to absorb the most flavor.
- Exercise. When families come together often it is for such a brief amount of time nobody wants to sacrifice any of the precious, hours or minutes by taking time for themselves. However, how often have you found yourself reaching for that third glass of wine in before the main meal is even search because of the stress in the kitchen?
- Meditate. Even five minutes in the morning helps. Are you have to do is sit on a chair, pillow, bed, or floor. Count your breaths. (One as you breathe in… One as you breathe out…. Two as you breathe in…. Two as you breathe out….) Even five minutes is proven to lower blood pressure reduce stress. UCLA just reduced a stress that shows meditating strengthens the immune system, increases socus and attention,
- Go to yoga. If you’re on island there are we have a multitude of yoga classes. The Yoga Room. Dharma Yoga. The Westmoor. Yoga alliance the chakras, gets the energy flowing in your body, and is meditation in motion. How often do you go to a yoga class and leave realizing you didn’t think about anything on your “To Do List” for the last hour? It aligns the left and the right side of the body so that you are more balanced and can therefore drink in all the Umami…
- Have fun. See the people you want to see this Christmas and the holiday season. Minimize your commitment to the parties and events that sap your energy. You can give a polite and kind excuse as to why you need to slip out.
- Laugh. Laughing boost immunity. Crying compromises immunity (although can be beneficial). See where this is going? If you have taken the steps to provide Ballast for yourself, and are strong and grounded, chances are less likely you will erupt in tears.
- Wash Your Hands. Winter holidays. We gather together in enclosed spaces with compromised immunity and instead of holiday presents we give each other colds and germs. Wash your hands frequently. Always after blowing your nose. Don’t touch your eyes nose and mouth after touching doorknobs. Donald Trump takes it to the extreme; he has a germ phobia and won’t shake anyone’s hand. After shaking a number of people’s hands make sure to wash your own.
- Give. Giving is important. It makes us feel good. It’s fun. It brings us back to the true meaning of the holiday season – which is to celebrate and take time to reflect on what is important to us. Make gifts if you can. Shop local. In this world of easy materialism, hand made gifts and cards matter. Perhaps more than ever. Do you live on Nantucket? I have some suggestions: The island is loaded with art and creative people. CERAMICS from Nell Van Vorst, BEAUTIFUL & ETHEREAL CLOTHING ART from Casey Boukus, ART from Jo Ann Welch, Sherre Wilson Rae Liljegren, Santjes Oomen, Robert Stark… JEWELERY FROM Jessica Hicks, Clay Twombly, and Heidi Weddendorf, get a hat from Darcy Creech at Peter Beaton… the list goes on.
- Make Memories. Create traditions. Decorate the tree. Sing carols – even if you sing off tune. Gather together to celebrate religious and spiritual ceremony, friends and family.
- Create. If you’re creative, make time to be creative. The act of being creative unplugs brings us to our core allows us to create and unite with the source of creativity which I start deep knowing. And in essence it is a spiritual pursuit.
- Count your blessings. Really, it’s about sharing time and love. The key is to do the things that help ground you so you can be fully aware, alive, present, and awake to enjoy this special time of year.
- Forgive. That’s truly the best gift we can give ourselves. Nursing resentments does not change what happened. It takes precious energy to fan the flames of that anger. We are the only ones who suffer. One of that most effective ways is to say a prayer or wish for the highest good for the person who has wronged you might have to return to it day after day until it is released. It’s hard. It might take a long time. But it’s worth doing. But it will be released.
To me, the true meaning of the holidays is to savor those we love and remember why we have created a holiday at this time of year. It’s a poignant time, for many reasons. It’s the end of the year and the beginning of a new year. It’s a time to choose how we want to step into the New Year and what we want to manifest and achieve. Be awake. Enjoy this time. Put down your phones. Be present. And savor the time this beautiful time of year.
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