This holiday season, like any, brings a plentitude of opportunities to stray from who you really are as you navigate the often-murky waters of staying healthy and keeping balanced in times when stress is high and demands seem unending. Here are 5 Tips for a healthy body, mind, & soul this holiday season — my go-to practices for getting through it and finishing on a stronger note than when the season began! I think they will help you as well. XOXO
- Walk. Anyplace, Anytime. Walking is one of the healthiest movement activities we know, and most of us are able to do it to some degree. Find ways to push yourself a bit more this holiday season: Park farther away on purpose, choose to use the car less, take a bit of a more leisurely stroll from the car to the store or church, add 10 min on the elliptical or treadmill at the gym at a manageable pace. If you are unable to walk, plan another way to be intentional about movement starting today! Move any part of your body even if you’re sitting in a chair, for any amount of time more than you move it now. Even a subtle change, practiced with intention and regularly, will nurture you in ways you can’t yet imagine! All it takes is faith that you are making a difference. And tell others! Chances are you will inspire them to do the same and hopefully they will join you in solidarity.
- Plan a few minutes of quiet time every single day. I take the first 30 minutes each morning to sit on the floor in my office / second bedroom and simply Be. No agenda. No requirements. No constraints. No expectations. I face East for the dawning of a new day. Most days I ask Siri to play meditation music, or sometimes more upbeat relaxation music, and I just allow whatever she chooses knowing it will be perfect for that morning. I let my mind go wherever it chooses; this is my Mind’s time. I am not there to direct it. And that’s the point. I reflect after the time is up and sometimes not. Whatever I am inspired to do. And then I go on with my day.
- Find someone to give to this holiday season. Maybe someone you don’t even know. And in any way that you choose. An anonymous act maybe, or paying it forward, or a volunteer hour or two. The science is clear: When we give with a genuine and altruistic desire to do something for someone else, we feel good. We feel great! And that gets the endorphins and hormones going better than any drug. Acting out of obligation is a destructive burden; acting out of desire, on the other hand, produces a gift from God that nurtures your soul, the soul of the person you give to, and the soul of anyone who may witness it. Any living Being is a fair target! Any person or other animal. You choose! I bet if you do it once you’ll do it again. 😁
- Plan a morning or afternoon this season just for you. It needn’t cost anything, and you don’t have to go anywhere. Take a few hours off from whatever work you do. Ask someone to watch the kids. And simply do something for yourself – anything that you feel inspired to do. Take a walk, ride a bike, do an extra session at the gym, read a book, write a book, take a bath, grab a coffee, take a hike. Anything. So long as you do what you want to do and do it in a way that you are secluded in your own little world – even if that’s just in your mind. Be strategic about it: Plan the time when you suspect you’ll need it most – after the shopping is done or before it starts. And the end of a week, or maybe as an anti-stress inoculation before it starts. You decide. And if you feel so inspired, do it again!
- And, finally, spend your time this holiday season how and with whom you choose. Let your heart guide you. Spend the most important moments with you family, with your family of choice, with friends, with a pet companion, with some combination of these, or even simply with yourself! The only right choice is the one youmake. Allow what will nurture most. Embrace it. Experience the joy of it. And be changed by it.
Holidays are challenging even for the most evolved of us. Our society has done a great job in ensuring this so that we feel vulnerable and succumb to the marketing and obligations others are invested in creating as the norms, and usually for their own benefit. But when we consider each of the multitudes of decisions with which we’re faced from the perspective of our own inner sense of authenticity, and make our decisions from there, we come through it all in a way that leaves us feeling healthy in Body, Mind, & Soul! And ready for the new year ahead.
Have tips of your own? Share them below!!
With blessings and great gratitude,
from Santa Fe, NM, US