It’s the Holidays! Yay! It’s the season of celebration, giving, and…excess!
Here are a few tips to make sure you maintain a healthy balance of body/mind/spirit during this Holiday Season, and start off the New Year with all of your internal reserves full and replenished.
1) Do Nothing- We live in a culture that values over activity, and this is especially true during the Holidays. But, did you know that your “down time” is JUST as vital to your productivity, as your active time?
Our bodies go through different energetic cycles throughout the day, with some times of day being very “yang” (active), and other times being very “yin” (resting).
If you override your body’s natural impulse for rest and relaxation, you actually deplete your inner reserves, and your “yang” (active) energy, doesn’t have quite as much OOOMPH as it would otherwise (think -the day after no sleep!)
Be sure to tune in to what your body needs, and spend plenty of time “doing nothing”, such as; laying on the couch reading a book, watching a movie in the middle of the day, taking a long hot bath, and taking naps!
2) Move- That being said, there is a time for rest, and a time for action! Although usually delicious, Holiday food can be rich and heavy, which can cause you to feel lethargic, and your energy to become stagnant.
Make sure to stay balanced by exercising, engaging in some sensual yoga, or going for walks with family and friends.
Just a note- taking walks after eating helps you digest and metabolize all that Holiday food!
Also- power shopping is totally a valid form of exercise, so remember to wear comfortable shoes when shopping for Holiday gifts, so you can run from one side of the mall to the other, as needed!
2) Tame Your Mind- My favorite quote from one of my Tibetan Teachers is- “From beginning-less time you have been following your thoughts. Now take a break from that, and follow your breath.”
It is estimated that we think over 100,000 conflicting thoughts per day! I think this especially true during the Holidays, when we have the added stress of planning elaborate meals, holiday parties, choosing the perfect gift, and interpersonal family dynamics.
Please, please, please, be sure to take a break from the insanity, and reconnect with the peace of being here now, with a daily meditation practice.
3) Prioritize Pleasure- Pleasure is medicine! Let me know when you get tired of hearing this, but it’s true. Human beings are hard-wired to move toward that which is enjoyable.
Easy to forget that during the Holidays, or at times in our life when there is lots to do.
When we stress, we tense. When we tense, we are in resistance to our experience.
Pleasure melts body armor, heart armor, mind armor, and truly, what is the point and purpose of life (and the Holidays!) if not to enjoy!
4) Snuggle- Family therapist, Virginia Satir, states that human beings require 4 hugs a day just for survival, and 12 hugs a day to thrive! Hugging, i.e. snuggling stimulates the production of oxytocin, which is responsible for generating feelings of connection, closeness, contentment, as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol.
5) Play! Our society tends to dismiss the importance of play for adults. Play is perceived as unproductive, unimportant and petty. And yet- play is considered to be a crucial element in “bonding” with children and pets. Same can be applied to adults! Play brings joy, and according to experts, it is crucial for creativity, connection, and deepening relationship bonds.
6) Pray– I consider prayer to be as important a daily activity as eating and sleeping. Prayer is defined as “to address a solemn request or expression of thanks to a deity or other object of worship.”
For me prayer is about connection to something greater than my tiny little ego.
It’s about offering gratitude to that consciousness which orchestrates the divine dance of life. It’s about appreciating all that I have been given, all that I have now, and all the awesomeness that is bound to come.
It’s the best tool that I know of to raise up your vibration, and connect with a “greater” Self.
How does one pray? Simply stop what you are doing, connect with your heart, and say “thank you universe, for all that you have given me, and for all there is to come.” Then add whatever you want from there.
7) Share Appreciation – Authentic appreciation is to the human heart, what sunshine is to flowers. Transform the stress and negativity of family dynamics by finding things to appreciate about the people around you, and then SHARE that with them!
8) Schedule in sex- It’s the Holidays! Which means, in spite of all the activity, there should be some lazy mornings to linger in bed, and some lazy afternoons while the kids are playing with presents. The best way to re-set a cranky mood and avoid Holiday arguments? Indulge in copious amounts sensual partner pleasure!
9) Drink lemon water- A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning helps detoxify the liver, which is bound to take a bit of a beating with all the Holiday parties. Why is detoxing your liver important? In Chinese medicine, the liver governs emotions such as anger, irritation, rage, annoyance, etc. A cranky, toxic liver makes for a cranky human!
10) Take your vitamins/supplements- When I studied natural health, I was astonished to learn that the RDA of vitamins and minerals is actually barely enough to keep us alive, much less highly functional and vibrantly healthy.
No more can you rely on the food you eat to provide your body with all of the necessary building blocks for maintaining high levels of health and wellness. Add Holiday stress to the equation, and the body can become further depleted and more susceptible to illness.
Make sure to support your immune system by giving your body the material it needs to build a happy, healthy, you!
So there you go! 10 tips for staying in tune and in balance during the Holidays.
Because you know, there is nothing sexier than a happy, healthy, balanced human being.
What is your favorite way of staying balanced during the Holidays? Please share with us below!