by MCF Clinical Supervisor Ronnie Biemans, MA, LCPC
For many of us the time before, during, and after the holiday season is focused on family and celebrations. This can also be a time when we find ourselves doing too much of the wrong things and too little of what keeps us well. You can probably remember at least one time you found yourself in bed with the flu or some other virus either during or immediately after the holidays. You are likely socializing more, spending more, doing more, eating more and sleeping less. Why not try to do things a bit differently this year?
If this time of year feels more like a struggle than a celebration for whatever reason, consider giving yourself permission to take a break through your own “holiday bill- of- rights.” Read more here.
- Make time for yourself in your morning routine
If every day you make a little time for yourself first thing, you can move through your day with a bit more energy and focus. Your morning routine might only be 5 minutes long to start, but even that will help. Use the time to sit quietly with a cup of tea, meditate, journal, walk or include other activities that feed your body, mind, heart and soul.
- Take a walk
Go outside and take a walk. Bundle up if it’s cold and head out with the intention of noticing the magic. Don’t worry about burning calories or tracking steps, just enjoy yourself.
- Respect your budget
Once you figure out what you can spend on extras like holiday gifts, events and other holiday things, honor that. If you splurge now, you may pay more later.
When/if you are buying gifts, decline to leave your email address with a merchant. If shopping online, check out as a guest and don’t accidentally subscribe to email lists. They make it really easy for you to opt-in, but you’ll save the stress of future sales and shopping promos arriving daily in your inbox by opting out.
- One in, one out
Stay clutter-free, or avoid adding to your clutter by sticking with a one in, one out rule. For each thing that comes in, another goes out. Apply this rule to gifts, clothing and decorations.
- Eat well
Indulge in your favorite holiday treats, but eat really well most of the time. Eat greens at every meal, even breakfast. Savor the first few bites for your all-time favorites. You’re an adult now so you don’t have to clear your plate, try everything, or eat as if you’ll never get another chance.
Make room for some peace and quiet by yourself or with good friends and/or family – maybe cancel some of your planned activities.
- Enjoy a nap
Give your body and brain a chance to recharge on those holiday marathon days. Even 20 minutes will make a big difference.
- Redefine “good-and-plenty”
If we could stop equating abundance and wealth with extra zeros, all the toys, and more of everything, we could be grateful for the things we have instead of envious or unhappy for the things we don’t. Abundance is a full heart, not a full house.