Do you love the holidays or dread the holidays?
After observing patients for 30 years during this season we can see that you’re probably experiencing some of both!
We see patients who are happy, looking forward to friends and family being over, and those who are over worked and overwhelmed. And most are some of both. This time of year is draining physically, mentally and emotionally.
Here are 10 tips to keep you sane during the holidays.
Physical Tips for the Holiday Season
#1 – Go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep in when you can.
#2 – Keep on your adjustment schedule.
#3 – Use good ergonomics when wrapping.
#4 – Keep up exercise of some sort. Each year, Kevin and I spend the holidays in Maine, so we go for walks on the beach almost every day. Yes, it’s COLD outside, but we dress accordingly. There is nothing more refreshing than a brisk winter walk when you’re dressed properly. Fresh air and being in nature is the best medicine for your body, mind and soul.
Go to the gym, or work out at home. You don’t have to make it a big workout thing, just be sure to remain active each day (use that FitBit you got last year for Christmas!)
Eating and Drinking Tips for the Holiday Season
#5 – Pick the treats you really love and skip the rest. It’s hard I know as there are so many delicious holiday cookies, candies and other treats, but you can really wreak havoc on yourself if you over indulge. Sugar is chemically more addictive than cocaine so manage your intake.
We suggest you choose the wonderful homemade treats made with love rather than the pre-packaged junk.
#6 – Be careful about all the alcohol around the holidays. If you’re going to enjoy some holiday drinks, here is an easy thing to remember: hangovers suck.
When you over indulge in alcohol, you are stressing your body and your brain beyond limits and you become dehydrated, you may throw up due to your body trying to rid all the toxins, and you may not remember what happened to you (which is not only embarrassing, it’s dangerous!) A hangover feels horrible because much like the flu, you are full of toxins and your body is working hard to heal.
Have a couple of drinks if it’s fun for you but be safe and always have an alternate way to get home.
Emotional and Mental Tips for the Holiday Season
#7 – Spend time with people you really enjoy. Shut off the computer, quit surfing and take your eyes and attention off the screen and engage with humans. No matter who have to be with, find the people you enjoy the most and let go of trying to make anyone wrong. Look for what what’s right with any situation you find yourself in. Be the better person if necessary. You’ll be glad you did.
#8 – Find some quiet time for yourself (even if it is only a few minutes to breathe). Remember to breathe. Read a book, take a nap, have a bath.
#9 – Do the activities you really enjoy and skip the rest. If you hate the cards but love baking cookies then choose that. Focus on joy. I have a client who loves to bake cookies and make candy. In years past the mess drove her crazy until she realized, “I love making holiday treats – so I’m not going to sweat the clean up – it’s part of the fun.”
The expectations from the media are immense. No, you won’t be renting a sleigh with horses or putting a Mercedes with a giant bow in the driveway (unless of course you are, and that’s great too!)
#10 – Do what you love to do and don’t force yourself to do anything else.