Updated: Nov 21, 2020
The rules to health and happiness are simple, yet not always easy to follow or acquire.
Stress management, exercise, nutrition, and community are vital to how we feel on a mental and physical level. I need these helpful reminders to stay healthy, and outlining them for you helps me...so thanks for playing along! I hope it helps to bring some balance and happiness to your life during the holidays this season.
SLOW YOUR ROLE
Stress is the #1 vibe killer. Tons of research suggests that stress is the root of many health problems, and can negatively impact how we interact with others. Holidays are [typically] a time to connect with community. Relieve stress in order to fully embrace company, or in current times, the lack-there-of. Kick-back, count to ten, take long deep breaths, and follow these tips to de-stress your life for happier holidays.
You do you...First.
Do the impossible. Do one thing for your self that helps you get started each day. I'm a mother of an infant and a toddler, some days this means simply brushing my hair and doing my skin care routine before engaging the household. Ideally, scheduling time to start the day with a ten minute meditation, a brisk walk outside, or a simple stretching routine can get us moving in the right direction. There is a catch to this though, no one is going to do it for you, this is all on you to make the commitment to self. Setting the stage for a happier day makes us more productive for others in our lives, or for what we need to accomplish. Try it, I dare you.
Ditch the Device
Our devices take away from being in the moment. Research shows that being present and enjoying those precious moments brings us happiness. Instead of stopping to take out your phone to take a picture of those awesome experiences, take a moment to actually live that awesomeness. Slow down and take a holiday from stressful devices, practice this by scheduling a time-frame each day to turn off the phone. Or pick a day each week to turn all devices off. Enjoy the genuine bliss life has to offer, gee this could take us 15 years back. Imagine!
Fit-in the Fitness
This is the worst time to drop the fitness routine, just find a way to do it. Alternately, it's a PERFECT time to start new fitness habits or goals! I've never regretted taking a walk, have you? However, I have regretted spending extra time on the computer working, pushing that walk to the bottom of the priority list. Regular exercise is proven to decrease stress hormones, and increase happy hormones. Here are a few tips to fit in the fitness around the holidays: Make new traditions. Walk before and after holiday meals. Sign up for a turkey trot or holiday race [this may be done alone with online mile trackers. Funny, not funny]. Create a new fitness goal to work up to the first of the year, rather than starting your habit resolution on the first of the year. Schedule a time each day to exercise, make a goal to exercise every single day. Healthy heart, happy hommie.
Get Over Yourself
Giving brings us joy, and so does helping others. This is yet another evidence based finding! Feeling stressed, too much in life? Look around and think about how you can help others. Put yourself aside and focus on the world around you. Science has proven that lending a helping hand can boost our spirits. The joy is in the giving!
You are What you Eat
Or, are you what you assimilate? If we digest junk, we feel like junk, right?
Our bodies function at their peak when we fuel ourselves with whole and healthy foods. During the holidays, start by gifting healthy foods, instead of sending chocolates in the mail. Contribute healthy foods at gatherings. Just adding something lean and green to the turkey plate will leave your belly less room for an extra piece of pie later. [Disclaimer: what you are about to read is a "first worlder" statement] It is not a crime to throw away foods that don't serve you in a positive way. You are wasting it more by overindulging. Did too many cookies show up on your doorstep? Take a few bites, savor the moment, and ditch the rest! Seems harsh, doesn't it? You won't regret it.
Do This Now: Smile!
Smile. Especially if your not feeling it, because forcing a smile is better than frowning. Really, when our smiling muscles contract, they send a signal to the brain to increases endorphins for happiness, and helps to curb anxiety. Smile. Now, do it again. Fake it till you make it!
Drum-Roll...Wait for it...Get a Massage!
Health is the ultimate gift, and receiving a massage both feels like a gift, and has numerous evidence based benefits for the body and mind. Massage therapy has proven to decrease stress hormones, increase happy hormones, relieves the effects of stress, and makes us feel so good! No time during the holidays to schedule a massage for yourself? Don't believe that. You will feel happier, have less stress, and be more productive in your world. Like the walks, and the healthier eating, this is one thing that I've never. ever. regretted. But it is one thing, that requires you to relax and let someone else do for you! I'll make it easy... book a massage.