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5 Keys To Thriving During The Holidays

Debbie Schroeder RN, BSN
Professional Health Coach

It is hard to imagine, but the holiday season is upon us.  What visions do you create in your mind when you think of the holidays?  Are you rushing from one holiday event to the next, frantically shopping for the perfect gifts, overeating on all the holiday treats, feeling exhausted from all the extra events and obligations brought on by the holidays and wishing they would be over so life would get back to normal?  Or are you visualizing relaxing in front of a warm fire with family and friends, enjoying the holiday lights and traditions, eating nutritious satisfying food that is keeping your energy levels high, continuing your daily exercise routine, feeling happy and at peace?

If the holiday time is stressful for you, here are some tips you may wish to implement to thrive during the holidays instead of just trying to survive through them.

  1. Visualize what you want the holidays to be like for you.  Spend 5 minutes each morning creating vivid pictures in your mind of what you want the holidays to be like for you.  Act as if you are experiencing all of this NOW.  How are you feeling, what you are you smelling, what emotions are you feeling (love, peace, joy etc.), what activities are you doing?  Express gratitude for the blessings you are receiving this holiday season.  Make it as real as possible.  You will discover what you think about will become your reality.
  2. Learn to say NO.  It seems that during the holiday season everyone is asking for something, money, time, gifts, parties, etc.  It is okay to say no to the things you really don't have an interest in doing.  Decide what will nourish and benefit you and your family and pass on the other events.  This is a very freeing experience.
  3. Be mindful of what you are eating.  It is very easy during the holiday season to fall into the trap of mindless eating.  Everywhere you go there are cookies, popcorn tins, extra special treats for the holidays.  It is very easy to gain 5-10 pounds during the 2-3 month holiday season.  Before you eat anything, ask yourself, do I really want this?  If I eat this, how will it make me feel?  Then consciously decide what you will and will not eat. 
  4. Remember to take some time for yourself.  So many women spend the holiday season doing for others.  They burn the candle at both ends and wonder why they are exhausted at the end of the day.  They also wonder how the holidays passed so quickly and they didn't find time to enjoy the season.  Take a few minutes everyday to renew yourself.  Some ideas for relaxation are take a warm bubble bath, meditate for 15 minutes daily, do some deep breathing exercises, listen to your favorite music, dance, take a walk in nature, go for a massage, do something that will nourish and refresh you. 
  5. Maintain an exercise routine.  Exercise has many benefits; it can reduce stress hormone levels, increase your metabolism, energize you and maintain your health during the holidays.  Spending just 20-30 minutes exercising 4-5 times a week will help you thrive during the holiday season.  Find an exercise you enjoy and notice how much better you feel.

We hope you make a commitment to yourself to thrive not just survive this holiday season.  This is a special time of the year.  May your life be filled with many blessing, joy and peace.

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