How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday feasting and celebration time is about to commence. While gatherings are essential and fun, many people who have food sensitivities and health issues struggle to maintain their integrity through all of the temptation. As a result, important boundaries are compromised, and your weight or immunity suffers. Social stress and consuming too much of what are body cannot handle can lead to illness that can last throughout the winter months – it’s not worth it!
Wouldn’t it be better to approach holiday socializing with a clear set of intentions and boundaries, a strategic plan that maximizes your way of enjoying life, rather than bending to other’s expectations? Here are some ideas for maximizing the fun and minimizing the damage of holiday celebration time…
1. Know your holiday stress points & take care of YOU. Do certain family members put you on edge? Do you take on too much and then find you don’t have time for it all? Start by asking yourself what makes you feel most pressured or irritable, and then what choices do you have to make this stress more manageable?
For example, Can you gracefully bow out of gatherings or obligations you no longer enjoy? Do you really need to bake all those cookies? Can this be the year you send a Christmas email or a link to your Facebook page instead of all those cards? If you have to see a difficult relative, arrange something fun and rewarding afterward. Give yourself permission to say NO to what won’t be fun for you, and to attend gatherings on your own terms.
2. Get Clear: What are the non-negotiables? What are the practices that you know to be the bedrock of your physical, mental and spiritual health? These will be different for different people, so each of you need to be clear about what you must promise to do for yourself every day, no matter what – and what you will not do or eat or drink when you are out in that big crazy world at holiday time. This is key to maintaining stability and good health throughout the holidays.
3. Bring the salad. If you practice a Cleansing Lifestyle, or know that certain common foods make you ill, then be the person that brings a healthy raw foods option to the potluck or party. It will stand out as light, fresh, and delicious among the heavier cooked foods. It can be the center of your meal so that you leave feeling good, rather than bloated and stagnant.
4. Set an intention ahead of time – If you’re going to a gathering where you know you’ll be tempted by foods or challenged by family members, sort it out ahead of time. Be energetically and personally responsible to yourself, and plan ahead what you do and do not want to feel and do. This will help you enter the fray with clarity and centeredness, so you can enjoy yourself on your own terms.
5. Allow for flexibility and enjoyment. If you’re someone who tend to be strict with themselves regarding diet and routines, then remember: life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, and it’s OK to have a little wine or desert or stay up late on occasion.