There sure is a heck of a lot going on this time of year.
Many of us often feel a lot of stress during the holidays – sometimes causing tough emotions and bad habits to creep into the typically joyous season (drinking two litres of eggnog and holing up alone in a dark room watching Love Actually, for example). But it’s possible to have a healthy and balanced holiday season. Here are some ways how:
Keep your usual routine
A change in routine can add more stress than it’s worth. Try exercising at the same time and going to bed and waking at the same time as you usually do to increase stability.
Get the whole family involved
Get the kids involved in decorating, your friends involved in the joint party planning, and your partner involved in sending holiday cards. You don’t have to do everything on your own.
Throw the “ideal” holiday out the window
Most of us picture the perfect party, the perfect family dinner, or the perfect reaction on our child’s or spouse’s face when they open the gift we’ve so carefully picked out. Give yourself a reality check to help manage your own expectations.
Give yourself the gift of wellness
Choose moderation over excessive holiday treats, stay active even when it’s cold outside, pamper yourself with something that feels good and take time to breathe and reflect. The YMCA has dozens of fitness classes you can take part in, or you can hit the local slopes or go for a frosty jaunt along one of Vancouver’s many water-side running and biking paths to get your heart pumping on your days off.
Say no or ask for help
The holidays can kick even the most low-key people into overdrive. Feel free to set limits, say no, or ask for help so you don’t burn out before the festivities have begun.
Let yourself feel
Let yourself truly feel every emotion that hits you over the holidays, no matter what the emotion is or what has caused it. Every emotion is good and needs to be processed within our minds and bodies in order to have a balanced spirit. Then try and choose kindness, acceptance, and generosity with everyone you meet.
It may be cold, but we all need to spend time outdoors to keep ourselves healthy and happy. Go for a walk as a family with hot tea in hand, play a quick game of tag, go carolling from house to house, or simply offer to shovel a neighbour’s driveway.