Staying Healthy During the Holidays

It’s December…  The holiday season.  And while nature turns to winter and calls us to go in and rest, we have created the busiest time of the year.

If you live in an area with a true winter you’ll notice that nature has shut down for the season.  The leaves are gone.  Daylight is at a minimum.  The animals are quiet.  And it is cold…  All signs that it is time to rest and rejuvenate before spring appears.

But people ARE BUSY.  After all there is the traveling, friends and family to visit with, special foods to cook, gifts to purchase and wrap, shows to see, elves to shelve, trees to trim, lights to hang, cards to mail, work parties, classroom parties.  Ok, I just got tired typing that.  And this is on top of all of our typical responsibilities.

So, it’s A LOT and at a time when we’re supposed to be resting.    When people live out of balance with nature they tend to get sick.  Here are my TFH tips for a mindful and healthy holiday season:

Feel Free to Say No.  I don’t want to miss a thing at the holidays, but when we take on too much, me and my kids always get sick.  And, if we don’t respect the sickness (our body’s signal to slow down) we get MORE sick.  Respect your need for some rest during the winter time.  Say yes to sleeping in, taking a nap, or catching that favorite holiday movie while curled up on the couch.

Less Sugar, More Sweetness.  Sugar greatly reduces the ability of our immune system to work.  It is no coincidence that flu season is October to May.  That is candy and sugar season.  Starting with Halloween and running through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter, sugar consumption and addiction runs strong.  Reevaluate your traditions.   Skip one batch of Christmas cookies and let the kids cut and decorate paper snowflakes.  Create a festive fruit or veggie tray tradition.  Really think about the sugar traditions that you are instituting for your family.  Remember your children only come to expect what you create for them.

More Silent Nights, Less Hustle and Bustle.  Take advantage of the natural winter desire to stay in, relax, and grab a few more snuggles with the ones you love.

More Gratitude, Less Want.  Gratitude is good for your health.  Teach your children that this is the time of year to reflect on how blessed they are and to consider those in their communities and around the world who are in need.  “I want” and “Gimme Gimme” drain our energy and our ability to fight infection.

Celebrate All Year Long.  The pressure is on.  Create the perfect holiday.  Give to charity.  Gift everyone you know.  If you are like me and just cannot handle one more thing at this time of the year, do it another time.   There is a need for generosity and good cheer throughout the year.

Take Care.  With all the demands of the holiday season, there is no better time to take good care of yourself and your family.  Make sure you are getting enough sleep.  (You may actually need a little more at this time of year).  Eat real and whole foods.  Get your vitamin C with fresh citrus fruits.  Enjoy the slow and nourishing foods of winter like soups and stews.  Supplement Vitamin D.  And, respect the limits of your body, mind, and soul.

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Lauren ThomsomStaying Healthy During the Holidays

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