Survive the Holidays

I know that I’m not alone in feeling that as lovely and magical as the holiday season is, that it also brings with it just a tad bit more stress than many of us would wish for. We’re already familiar with the impact of stress on our health and the negative long term implications for our well being so in this post, let’s look at 4 tips to help us survive what should be the merriest season of all.

  1. Take Some Time Out. Whether it’s a spin class or yoga, a power nap or an afternoon in with a mug of hot tea and a good book, let this be JUST FOR YOU. Allow yourself time to rest and recharge so that you can tackle all things on your list with more calm, energy and enjoyment.
  2. Eat Well. I know I’m not alone when I say that my diet suffers terribly during the holidays. This food focused season filled with an overload of sugar, cheese and alcohol makes eating well challenging for even those of us who are good most of the year. The best advice here is to try not to overdo it. Eat the cookies, enjoy that cocktail and the sumptuous buffet. The key is to try to do this in moderation (easier said than done, I know). But regardless what happens, don’t beat yourself up. The holidays will soon be a distant memory and you’ll soon be able to focus on food that nourishes your body again.
  3. Manage Social Obligations. Dinners with relatives, drinks with friends and business functions – all can be enjoyable, but when they’re packed into a short time frame, they can be both mentally and physically exhausting. While many social gatherings are unavoidable, if you’re worn out or too tired, it’s OK to decline the invitation. You can also opt to leave early, after popping in for a drink and to say hello. Your mental well-being is the most important thing here and good friends will understand.
  4. Simplify Shopping. There is nothing more stressful than trying to come up with gift ideas that show you really care. EXCEPT, fighting your way through the throngs of holiday shoppers trying to do same thing as you. Does anyone really need another scarf or centerpiece bowl? Unless you know that someone is really coveting something, simplify gift giving. Opt for gifts of food (a favourite bottle of wine, spices, condiments), which are always well received. Activities, including a dinner out or in, a movie night or drinks out with your most special people are sure to be appreciated more than a material thing.

This season focus on the people, the good times and on looking after yourself. A healthy, happy you is what your friends and family care about and it’s important to focus on that rather than all the extra stuff that doesn’t bring much happiness to anyone. Here’s to enjoying the holidays this year and keeping your sanity intact at the same time.