1.) Learn to Say No. Allow yourself to free your time from engagements and running around town for things you don’t even want to attend just because you feel obligated. Honesty, especially with yourself goes a long way. Know you are loved even when you don’t say yes to every event. Say no to FOMO (Fear of missing Out)!
2.) Establish traditions that are meaningful to you and dare to break with old ones that don’t bring joy or relate to your family’s intentions. This is a way of cleansing and lifting the spirit. Also be willing to have an exception if is important to your significant other or extended family. Family bonds are important and meaningful to kids so clear communication is key. Meet mid way in a decision that honors both sides. Be aware that your partner is now your family so be mindful when the other person is adopting traditions that don’t relate to them. Take time to reflect as a family what is most important to each of you. What traditions make this time special and are worth spending your energy on?
3.) Be conscious about gifts. Choose experiences, books, plants, musical instruments and gifts that stimulate the spirit and imagination. Be mindful of what goes in the list and set priorities. Be mindful and dare to ask what is needed rather than what we think they need if they are a close family member. Support small businesses or people around you, it is convenient to buy online, it can save time and money but I always have fun interacting with people in markets and small stores. It can be gratifying knowing that the money is helping a family rather than a huge company. When possible choose natural materials and avoid plastic; we must also show kindness to nature. Dare to gift with your heart rather than with your wallet. And remember to always be grateful even when you don’t get what you wanted. Let’s make this season one of true Joy. “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”-Helen Keller
4.) Bring a healthy dish to gatherings. Yours might be the least popular one (I don’t mean to say healthy options are not delicious, most often they are) but food is for nourishment and it carries some of our soul. Most likely you will eat more of this healthy plate and less of the unhealthy options, even if it is not to see it wasted. Have the courage to stay true to your values rather than fitting in with the culture. If you choose to prepare something unhealthy make sure you enjoy it and eat it with presence; just leave the guilty feelings behind. Sometimes we can’t control our surroundings but we can make healthier choices at home. Be proud of what you do at home and celebrate healthy choices! It’s all about what we choose to focus on.
5.) Drink plenty of water. At least drink half of your weight in ounces. Many times we eat confusing thirst from hunger. With the consumption of more sugary and salty foods it is even more important to keep our cells hydrated. Dehydration is related to headaches, constipation, muscle fatigue, lack of energy and dry skin to mention a few symptoms.
6.) Engage in healthy and simple routines that you can practice anywhere. Take a walk of 30+ minutes after dinner, plan hikes or active play in your weekend, do a short workout that doesn’t require much equipment or a specific setting. There are infinite resources online if you don’t know where to start.
7.) Substitute more optimal for less optimal choices when it comes to food:
Kombucha or apple cider over a beer
Stout beer over a lager beer(yes, stouts have less calories, more antioxidants and can potentially reduce blood clotting, cheers!)
POM juice, unsweetened cranberry or cherry juice over wine
Red wine over white wines
Sparkling water with lime over soda
*When drinking alcoholic beverages, drink 1 glass of water between each drink
Drink Cacao powder with your choice of milk or spiced teas like Chai instead of Sugary chocolate milk or store bought pumpkin lattes/peppermint syrups
Use coconut milk instead of cheese in casseroles
Almond butter & cacao instead of flavored spreads
Use honey, fruits or less processed sugars rather than white sugar
Cut at least half the sugar in the recipes
Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oils
Add raw nuts, raw seeds and unsweetened dry fruit instead of sugary & hydrogenated options
Make it from scratch rather than buying ready to use products like frostings or baked goods
8.) Don’t compare yourself. In this media obsessed society we tend to idealize other people's lives and relationships. Remember that what you are looking at is a picture perfect image. Don’t get caught in comparing yourself and your life to others, or their vacations, gifts or even their image. Bring your attention inwards and explore the possibilities of acceptance and improvement within you and your family. You can create a reality that resonates with your values and vision starting today.
9.) Engage in Deep or Meaningful conversations. Sometimes after attending many parties during the Holidays we can feel drained and even disconnected if we stick to the small talk. Make an effort in opening up and getting to know more about your family members and friends that you don’t see so often, ask questions when you authentically care for them. Even vulnerability with strangers can bring more joy and help us connect in the Holidays.
10.) Practice random acts of Kindness: Pay for someone’s coffee, give a stranger a true compliment, share your talents with someone, visit a shelter or nursing home, be more gentle on the road, help a mom carry their groceries to the car, open and hold the door for someone, step out of the ordinary and make a difference; even a smile and acknowledgement go a long way.
10 + 1.) Self-care is not a luxury but a priority. Schedule the care that you have been postponing or give the gift of a healthy experience. When we have health we are able to manage the season and life with more grace and energy. Head to your Chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, herbalist, trainer, gym, coach, nutritionist, therapist, spiritual guide, etc. The healthy strategies you choose today are the most valuable gifts you can offer to those you love and yourself. “The greatest W E A L T H is H E A L T H” is an understatement.
Keep healthy & joyful,
Dr. Wilmayra, DC
NSA practitioner, offering a gentle Chiropractic approach to improve the way clients process stress and increase the flexibility of their spine.