When I chat with folks about the Christmas holiday season, I notice two distinct reactions: a face lights up, accented with wide yes and a brilliant smile; or, the eyes roll to the back of the head, followed by the exasperated sigh.
One reaction welcomes the holidays and the other comes off like the person would rather drink a glass of sour milk than get caught up in the season.
The truth, is that the Christmas season can be a burden on those who both enjoy and loath this time of the year.
Blowing personal and family budgets on gifts, the stress of not having enough time to prepare for anything, feeling lonely, eating too much of the wrong food, abusing the waistline, and fighting crowds all contribute to what we consider hassles during the holidays.
Ever watch a hamster on a wheel? That’s what a lot of people look like during the holidays…just racing and running because we’re trained and conditioned to do so.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
A holistic lifestyle approach to the holidays
can sprout a bright and robust yuletide experience.
Try these holistic lifestyle tips to bring balance, calmness, perspective, good health and some real joy into the Christmas season.
- Connect spiritually: after all, this is the time designated to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus. But you don’t have to be a Christian to align yourself spiritually. Whatever spiritual experience sets your foundation, use it. This is a time when the spirit of love, compassion, giving, community and goodwill can flourish in unspeakable ways. It doesn’t matter what religion you practice, love is the common denominator for all.
- Ignore retailers: Black Friday, Brown Thursday…blah, blah, blah!!! Just kill the noise! Gift giving is an awesome practice to reflect what’s good in all of us. But don’t feel pressured. Don’t let retailers tell you when to buy, what to buy, or what constitutes smart spending. Take time to define and identify simple gift giving; simple, charming and useful items that speak volumes about your thoughtfulness.
- Eat well: typically, holiday food brings holiday blues. Cookies, eggnog, cakes, pies, alcoholic beverages, starchy foods, heavy consumption of all of the above all contribute to the concept of New Years resolutions, in addition to the way we eat the other 11 months of the year. As you spread the love of the season to others, how about loving your body enough to eat good food that nourishes your body, not tear it down. Sure, engage in some of the typical holiday offerings but the foundation of your food selection should be fish, chicken, turkey, or no meat at all, with fresh vegetables and fruit. Mix in the sweets every now and then but draw the line in the sand and definitely have a cutoff.
- Avoid stress: why feel like you must buy gifts for everyone who comes to mind. In some instances, rather than give gifts to individuals, why not give a simple gift for that person’s entire family? Budget your time and get done, what you can get done. Prioritize the 5 most important tasks for the holidays and make time for them.
- Defeat loneliness: find a way to connect in healthy social circles, whether it’s an individual or a group of friends. Make new buddies. And find a gift for yourself, no matter how simple it might be. It’s therapy. It’s self love, it’s smart and it’s part of the Christmas spirit.