The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, full of festive gatherings, good food, and good cheer. But they are also full of stress, temptations, emotional baggage, colder weather, illnesses, and relationships that challenge our physical, mental and emotional well-being. How can we protect our minds and bodies so that we can stay feeling good and joyful rather than run down and stressed out? 

 

  1. Balance your meals:  One of the biggest temptations during the holidays is food! If you want to have your cake and eat it too, be sure to balance what you eat throughout the day. For example, go ahead and eat that ooey gooey brownie with whipped cream on top at the office party, but then eat a more sensible dinner with salad or vegetables. If you eat something heavy for one meal, eat something lighter for the next meal.  
  2. Boost your immune system:  As the weather starts to change, illnesses like colds and flus start popping up. Boost your immune system naturally by adding zinc and vitamin C to your daily regimen. Wash your hands regularly, and especially before you eat. And be sure to get 8 hours of sleep, which strengthens your body and boosts your immune system. 
  3. Stress less strategies:  Whenever you find yourself starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a break and connect to your breath. Deep breathing instantly shuts down the stress response in the body and elicits the calming response instead. So when you’re feeling things come apart at the seams, close your eyes and take 5-10 full deep breaths. You’ll instantly feel better!
  4. Forgiveness:  If you’re dealing with strained relationships, do yourself a favor and practice forgiveness. Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself – it has nothing to do with the other person. It’s a choice to stop suffering. Here’s an intention that you can use: “Please help me to forgive all people, and all people to forgive me. Please help me to forgive myself. Thank you!” You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel when you practice forgiveness. It sets you free!  
  5. Surrender: Above all else, surrender to what is! So often we suffer mental anguish when faced with difficult situations that we don’t want. Instead of fighting against it and suffering, choose to surrender to the experience. If this is your reality, just let go and find a way to make the best of the situation. 
  6. Choose joy:  One of the most important decisions we can make each day is to choose joy. Happiness is a choice. How are you going to show up in your life? It is your birthright to feel good. Anytime you’re struggling with this, think about one of your most joyful memories and connect to that feeling of happiness, love or peace. The more you can feel that positive emotion, the easier it is to stay joyful throughout your day. So have fun!