It’s the Most WONDERFUL Time of the Year – Staying Healthy and Stress Free This Holiday Season

All the holiday songs are playing, everyone is gathering up courage to hit the stores and tackle their holidays lists; there is stress, anxiety, and sometimes general unhappiness for what is deemed “the most wonderful time of the year.” Is that how you feel? Overwhelmed? Overburdened? Did you just flip someone off in the parking lot because they took your spot? Shame on you. Patience my friend, patience. Instead of singing Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” let’s get you skipping around singing “It’s the MOST Wonderful Time of the Year!”

This is supposed to be the time of year filled with love, family, and friends, but I’m finding that some people are struggling and not feeling so full of love. My previous article touched a bit on holiday eating that can throw you off track, and how to keep your holiday workouts included in your busy schedules. Feel free to revisit that if you need to get back on track. Or hit me up, I’m only an email away! If you plan on “starting tomorrow,” ask yourself, “Why not today?” No excuses.

Let’s hit on the idea of digging deep and staying happy with yourself during the holiday season. The end of the year is a time to reflect: What happened that you remember? What inspired you? How can you improve and grow next year? Have you considered those New Years’ Resolutions?

Although the holidays are hectic and can get you off track, it is time to think of YOU in the midst of gathering gifts for everyone else. That doesn’t mean go shopping and buy yourself gifts, I’m talking deeper than that. If you are so caught up in gift giving and stressed about it, then is it really worthwhile? Honestly, so many of us focus on gift giving when it should be something happy, not stressful. If you are stuck trying to figure out a gift for someone, chances are they may not need anything materialistic. Oftentimes, gift giving is fruitless because the gift is purchased just for the sake of having a gift in return for someone. I think all of us have done that before. Sometimes, a gift is given with love and there is no expectation of return. Consider that.

Another thing to consider: How about the gift of yourself? The gift of your happiness can change your whole body, and could also influence others in so many ways. When people see your smile, they will smile. If you are happy, then you’ll simply be healthier—did you know that belly fat can be caused by stress too??? Stress alone can wreak havoc on your body; forget the cookies, cakes, and holiday festivities.

Personally, I often just prefer the gift of time. Time with friends and family, even if it is just a lunch date or a weekend away. I’m well known for my vacations, especially recently, but it allows me time to reconnect, refresh, and reconfigure everything in my path. If you continue to go, go, go without a chance to recover—just like your workouts—then your bound for a burn out, illness, or injury. I know when I’ve done too much because my body typically reacts by giving me an illness to make me REST. Think of those cheesy homemade coupons. Although they may seem silly, you may be able to give someone a gift they really truly want or need…. You, babysitting, a house cleaning, a workout, a home cooked meal, a walk, lunch, etc… The options truly are limitless.

One other thing to consider: the less fortunate. There are so many organizations this time of year that could truly use a donation–dogs, animals, adults, children. I’ve given donations as a gift to someone. Most organizations will send you a little card or will even mail a letter that you can give to the recipient to show that you made the gift in their name. (Who DOESN’T like getting snail mail when we are ALWAYS getting e-mail!!!??) Perhaps if you’re stuck and must give a gift, you can consider gifting for a greater cause.

Think about it. Connect with yourself and listen to your body.

Happy Holidays–free of stress!!