The Holidays are fun, exciting, celebratory and usually so busy for many of us. From balancing work, family, parties, shopping, there’s a lot of running around trying to get everything accomplished within the next few weeks. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed! Listed below are ways to find peace, happiness and a boost of good health amidst this holiday “storm.” Slow down, savor and take it all in. They are simple and yet so effective.
Keep Calm and Drink Tea
Yes, a warm cup of herbal or green tea can invoke calmness like nothing else. Tea is soothing, flavorful and in many cases very good for your body. Depending on the tea, it may be excellent for your digestion, your respiratory system, your sleep, your mood, your focus and many are packed with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants to heal the body and counteract stress. For some, it’s an excellent way to greet the morning or an afternoon stress reliever or an evening peaceful ritual. Regardless of the time of day, it can offer incredible healing at a time that you need it most. Grab your favorite mug, take a deep breathe, sip and melt into serenity.
Take a Yoga Class
For those that practice yoga regularly, you know undoubtedly this is good for your body, mind and spirit. For those that don’t, you are missing out on an ancient, holistic exercise. Yoga not only strengthens muscles, burns calories, makes you leaner, increases flexibility, decreases injuries, it eases physical and emotional stress. What I love about yoga is that it has opposing yet stabilizing effects on both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It’s invigorating and de-stressing at the same time. I take a yoga class at my gym almost every Friday. And I will tell you that it is the best way to end my sometimes stressful week and the best way to begin my weekend. This special exercise practice will continue to surprise you in more ways than you can imagine.
Not in yoga? That’s okay. Then follow the next tip…
Indulge in Nature
Go take a hike! Or simply a jog or a walk. Walking in a beautiful environment with trees and other lush green foliage – and even better along a stream, river, creek, lake or ocean is incredibly rejuvenating for the body and soothing for the mind. Plants and trees release an abundance of oxygen into the air as they absorb the energy from the sun and convert carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose and oxygen. Additionally, bodies of water invoke more negative ions in the air that help to improve breathing, increase serotonin production (better mood), enhance mind clarity and stimulate alpha brain waves which help to promote calmness, focus and a higher level of awareness. I think we could all benefit from that.
Playtime in the Snow
If you are fortunate to live within driving distance of snow, take a road trip! Or depending on where you live, it might be right outside your doorstep. Take advantage of this wintry time of year and give yourself a mental and physical break in the powder. Go sledding, build a snowman, go skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, throw a large snowball at someone you don’t like (just kidding, don’t do that) or whatever snow exercise/ritual you love to do. Then when you return to “normal life” back home, your body is rejuvenated and your spirit is renewed to tackle life’s responsibilities.
Indulge…But not too much
Just because it’s the holidays, it does not give you a “hall pass” to overindulge and go to the other extreme. Depending on your age and metabolism (if you are over 40, things are much different!) the body loves to store extra calories and fat in a short amount of time and unfortunately much longer to burn that extra storage later. The New Year is just around the corner and comes up pretty quickly. If you attend a holiday party and you went crazy with the appetizers, desserts and adult beverages, good for you! Just hit the gym or go for a brisk walk the next day if you can. Consume more vegetables, fruits and water the next day or even better – practice intermittent fasting. Balance the indulgence scale so that the actual scale doesn’t frighten you come January 2019.
Meditation – Fitness and Strength for your Brain!
Many of you already meditate so I don’t need to sing the praises of its benefits. For those that have not tried meditation or haven’t been consistent, you have the unlimited opportunity to positively change the way you think, feel and live your life. While there are many methods of meditation, many of them have a similar outcome. To feel more relaxed, focused, peaceful, live in the present moment, accept life’s ups and downs, practice more compassion for self and others and have a