It's the most wonderful time of the year!

 

But for some, it can be the most stressful time of the year as well. 

 

As we enter the holiday season, it’s important to recognize that this time of year brings added stress. Even with all of the JOY and CHEER, our body can still be registering stress. Less sleep, gift lists, travel plans, possibly hosting events, potential family drama, increased amount of drinks and the temptation of desserts - just to name a few! We’re not suggesting you forgo the celebrations by any means!! But, having a PLAN for navigating the season and managing the stress is key to staying healthy.

 

We recently invited our Chicago clients and friends to attend a Thriving Through the Holidays event. Here are some practical tips that we shared:

 

1) Mindset: What is your intention for the season? What is the most important thing to you? It could be creating holiday traditions and memories with your family, or feeling good about yourself, or not gaining weight. There is no right answer! Name your intention and write it down. This will help you make decisions, set boundaries or say no to things that might overwhelm you.

 

2) Sleep: Lack of sleep can wreak serious havoc on your body, immune system and your mood! If you know you’ll be out later than usual, try to squeeze in a nap, 10 minutes of meditation, or even just a few minutes of controlled breathing - you’d be surprised at how effective that can be. Stay on track as much as you can in other ways (food, alcohol, self-care) to support healthy sleeping as well. Higher quality sleep for less time is better than low quality sleep for longer time. 

 

3) Movement and self-care: During times of added stress, we really need to listen to our bodies. Working out IS a stressor. If your other stressors are overflowing your bucket, then focus more on MOVEMENT than “working out”. Take a walk with your family, or by yourself if that will be better for your mind(!!), go to a more yin-based yoga, play in the snow. Just move. be active

 

As far as self-care, it’s not about going to the spa. It’s about being in tune with your body and giving it the rest and recovery it needs. Put on relaxing music, go to bed early, order meals for your party instead of going through the stress of cooking it all yourself, etc. Small, mindful decisions can go a long way!

 

4) Nutrition: Be mindful that food, or lack thereof, can be stressful to your body. This is definitely an area where PLANNING is so important. If you’re going to an event where you will be eating late, have a nutritious snack that includes protein, fat, and fiber before you go so you’re not starving and already on a blood sugar roller coaster. If you know the event will have foods that aren’t the best on your digestive system, eat before you go! Set yourself up for feeling good the next day. 

 

5) Supplements and immune system aids: During this time of year, it is important to help boost your immune system. Vitamin C and D, zinc, bone broth, elderberry, etc. are simple and effective. Frequent hand washing! I regularly use xlear nasal spray after a flight, when the kids come home from school or after being in other public spaces. Getting the germs out before they take hold can make a HUGE difference in not getting every bug going around or shortening the duration.

 

These are just a few quick and easy tips to implement this holiday season. Check out the video above for the full recording of the event that has even more info. Reach out if you have any questions and be on the lookout for more events and programs in 2020.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Coach Angie

 




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