How to Have a Happy Holiday

Posted on December 22nd, 2012 by in Healthy Living, Relationships

For some, holidays are about friends and family, eating copious amounts of comfort food, and enjoying downtime. We sometimes indulge in ways that can weaken our immune system, and leave us feeling run-down, or drained. In the midst of holiday preparations we can lose sight of exercise routines, healthy eating habits, and the beneficial day-to-day patterns that keep us feeling good. On top of this, entertaining, late-night parties, and generally getting off our usual schedule can wear us down. Here are some tips for getting back into the groove during holiday time.

Relax! You have time off from work, so make good use of it and enjoy quiet time by the fire, reading books you’ve been yearning to pick up, getting back onto your cushion, and luxuriating in a hot bath. Since we don’t often make the time for self-care, take advantage of this opportunity for relaxation and rejuventation.

Exercise with family and friends. Since we’re often taken out of our usual exercise routines during the holidays, get everyone to join for a group hike, ski, or jog. Every year, my family takes to our local trail for a hike with the dogs. We also haul wood together and chase the kids around the trampoline in the snow.

Sleep! There have been many studies conducted regarding the potential effects of sleep loss, sleep deprivation, and the emotional impact of lack of sleep. Let’s face it: We all know we need sleep, and, for most of us, more of it! Take advantage of your time off to get to bed a bit earlier or sleep-in later, one morning. You won’t be sorry you did.

Connect. Reaching out to other people is a simple way to get out of yourself. Performing service provides connection. Giving extra tips to the slaving barista, heading to the local shelter with fresh-baked cookies for community members and volunteers, or brushing snow off of your elderly neighbor’s car are really simple ways to give back. Time spent connecting with others grants us perspective in our own lives. In addition, taking the time to connect to one’s self through yoga, meditation, or any other contemplative practice can bolster one’s constitution and improve emotional regulation in day-to-day activities, and not just when one is engaged in the practice.

Detox! These days, there are a lot of ways to detoxify your system. One nice option for a refreshing cleanse is juicing. Here is a recipe for a light, refreshing detox when you are stuffed with stuffing and need to cleanse!

Journaling gets the kinks out. When my family gets together, there can be drama. Whether you have an eccentric uncle who has a bit too much nog or some other family member or friend who can be especially challenging during the holidays, journaling provides a nice refuge for the mind.

Gratitude. It goes without saying: Gratitude is the simplest way to find your center and be present in the moment. Sometimes, the holidays are marked by frazzled shopping, family dysfunction, and overeating. But we can always curb the bah-humbugs with a quick list of the blessings in our lives.

What do you do to stay in the moment during holiday season? 



About Kimberly Jordan Allen

Kimberly is a writer, editor, and content strategist who has worked for national brands and publications. Her professional background includes branding, digital content, and feature writing. Kimberly's areas of expertise are lifestyle, health and wellness, environmental issues, and the mind-body-spirit connection. She crafts communication strategies that integrate traditional, web, and social to ignite, engage, and mobilize. Her work has appeared in Berkshire Magazine, The Huffington Post, E/The Environmental Magazine, Rural Intelligence, Shape, Organic Consumers Association, Sonima Foundation and Beliefnet. Kimberly is one of the founding contributors of Eco Chick, a website for hip, environmentally conscious women. Eco Chick has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Grist, Treehugger, Glamour, Self, and She is currently the Digital Content Editor at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.
  • KHR

    Thank you!