How to Have a Wonderful, Healthy Holiday Season: The Connection of Unhealthy Thinking and Our Body
Tis The Season of Stress and Sickness?
This is the time of year where we celebrate so much—time with loved ones, the experience of giving and receiving, and, for some of us, powdery white snow days. Unfortunately, this beautiful time has an ugly side to it. It’s also the stressed out, end-of-the-year-work-push, get-all-the-gifts, get-to-all-the-parties, talk-to-relatives-I-don’t-like, and do-everything-before-the-25th time. Additionally, many of us beat ourselves up because of the amount and type of food we eat as it totally sabotages any health improvement efforts we invested in pre-season. And if that isn’t enough, we often end up under the weather as the stress compromises our immune systems. How did the joyful holiday season turn into such an unhappy, sick time? Is there a connection between the way we have set up our beliefs and thinking about the holiday season and all of the illnesses we suffer?
Study after study has shown that out of balance thinking leads to an out of balance physical body. That translates into preventable illness, or dis-ease. This only makes sense as everything is energy so the energy of our beliefs and thoughts have a definite impact on our health. It’s obvious that the beliefs we have about what must be done during this time and how it has to be done (perfectly), is out of balance with what is healthy for the body and joyful to the soul.
The holidays are meant to be a time of good cheer and peace. It seems we have gotten of the path quite a bit, but we can change this. Perhaps it’s time to put health and happiness back into the holiday season in some “new, old-fashioned ways”.
Putting Health and Happiness Back into the Holiday Season
Here’s a stress-busting, health-giving idea: no gifts this year. Both sides of my family are foregoing gift-giving. No one is buying anything for anyone else. The stress relief this brings is amazing. I couldn’t have imagined it unless I experienced it. There are no discussions on what I should get so-and-so, there are no after work or weekend (madness) shopping plans crammed in between everything else on my to-do list, and wrapping paper and ribbons are off the board completely. Ahhhh…that feels so much better.
Will there be a celebration at all? Yes! We are still going to be together. We’ll play board games, have meals, giggle, reminisce, and enjoy the essence of the season. But, you can’t wrap essence, it must simply be experienced.
So, the questions are, Is it possible that we don’t really need to follow the ideas about the holidays we have been trained to believe in? Can we change the archaic ideas of materialism and stress to make this time more enjoyable, more peaceful, and healthier? Definitely. Why not start some new traditions, ones that reduce stress, keep your credit cards clean so you’re not paying for the holiday season until next holiday season, and keep you in tip top shape?
New Beginnings of Joy and Good Health
We have the power to make new traditions—ones that are more balanced, joyful and healthy. I have already provided the idea of no gifts, as my family is doing, but there are many other things we can do to bring balance back to our holidays. Here are some suggestions for healthy, new ways to celebrate:
- Spend more time outside. We get in such a rush going from the house to work, to the event, to the grocery, to the mall, and back to the house that we barely see daylight. But, daylight, fresh air, and sunshine are some of the very things that keep us balanced and healthy during the holidays so bundle up and go for a nice walk. You’ll feel great!
- Smell a lemon. Studies have shown that some citrus fragrances give us a general sense of well-being by releasing norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. You don’t have to squeeze lemon juice on your wrists and spray it under your neck, though. Just dab a little lemon essential oil on a hanky and place it in your pocket or keep it near you throughout the day.
- Squeeze the hoku spot. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the flesh between your thumb and forefinger is called the hoku Apply pressure for 30 seconds to this area to reduce stress and tension. This is a quick fix for holiday stress and blues.
- Say We don’t have to go to every event, do so much shopping, prepare so much food, and exhaust ourselves. We can say No sometimes and it just might bring us more joy and better health. So, go ahead and say No to something today and take care of yourself instead.
- Keep your workouts/exercise on track. Don’t give up this massive stress reliever during the holidays. This is precious time that releases healing endorphins that we all need throughout the year, but especially during this season.
There are many more things you can do like eat breakfast, unplug from all electronics, or get a massage. Pick the things that make your heart sing and soothe your soul. That way, you will come through the holidays less stressed, healthier, full of energy, and filled with the love that is meant to be shared this season and all throughout the year.