As the weather changes and the holiday’s approach, so does out sense of urgency and stress. Plans get made, gifts get bought, meals get consumed, and time, as always, seems to continually run out. The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year can be a blur. We all know we should be thankful, take in the moment, breath fully and with gratitude, be kind, be generous, – but what if this feels like another “should” to accomplish as the holiday momentum leaves us running to catch up – physically and emotionally.

Let’s face it – the holidays are stressful. Disappointments happen. Views collide. We can hurt and be hurt. Last night my friend Lisa was upset over a disagreement she had with her mother (holiday related). Last week I was upset over a disagreement with a friend. My son was sick. I also found out that someone I had lost touch with finally lost her life to cancer. But I was heartened to have had a great Thanksgiving in Boston with my sister in part because my goals were concrete: get rest, avoid conflict and enjoy my sons.
What are some other concrete measures we can take to stay balanced during the holiday season?

  • Exercise our bodies every day at least 20 minutes; if the optimal setting is not possible, at least take a walk and breathe
  • Minimize or avoid eating complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta, flour based products) for one week
  • Eat more salad and drink more water
  • Take at least 5 minutes of alone time before you begin your day and do nothing but breath
  • Give yourself time; avoid rushing
  • Set attainable goals, check them off on a list and feel proud of yourself
  • Use scents such as incense or candles to create a relaxing, multi-sensory experience in your home or office
  • Identify your feelings to yourself
  • Take the time to listen and avoid conflict – what feels urgent now changes over time
  • Be positive

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