Knowing that the holidays are approaching can make some people nervous in August! Whether you have warm, fuzzy memories of family gatherings… or you remember stress-filled, angry conversations with visiting relatives…or lonely days… in our yearly calendars, October through January (when the financial ledger of the previous months becomes black and white) bring a flood of emotions. Those emotions combined with the seasonal change in weather, the change of activities and schedule, and anything else that ‘life’ may bring about (job loss/change, major health challenge) can result in a not-so-nice holiday.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense!
Have a plan and even if you implement only one or two ideas, know that you have made some progress in taking back control of this time of year for your family.
Here then are some of my best tips for not just surviving, but thriving through the holidays! (This is a bit longer post than usual, but if you read to the end, there is a special holiday gift offer from me.)
*Be prepared mentally. Acknowledge that there will be foods offered at the office, at your friend’s house, at the neighborhood party, at the family gathering that are special, maybe even only served this time of year- and you know they are not the best for you! Give yourself permission to participate. If you are in a mode of wanting to maintain and not gain inches, decide ahead of time that there will be treats for you to enjoy!
*If you are able to bring a dish to share, choose something that is compatible with your nutritional goals. Here’s a recipe with sweet potatoes and quinoa that would be great for Thanksgiving. Leftovers will be OK!
*This link has a number of recipes that would be great not only to create several paleo-Thanksgiving dishes, but to serve anytime.
*If you say ‘yes’ to an activity, a performance, a get-together…that is, you are adding something to an already busy schedule…remember that you are saying ‘no’ to something that is already there. No one is giving you extra hours in addition to the 24 we all get!! Consider the extra stress, preparation, drive time, etc. involved in your new commitment, and choose wisely!
*If you are already in an exercise mode, good for you! It will be easier for you to keep up your exercise schedule because you have made it a habit. Commit to keeping your own appointment with your activity, whether it is walking, running, cycling, hiking, etc.
*If you are not in a daily-exercise frame of mind, my observation would be that the holidays are not the best time to start something major. Instead, be conscious of taking advantage of opportunities to increase your ‘steps’ throughout the day. For example, park a little further from the front of the store. Extra benefit: you won’t lose your cool if someone cuts in front of you and takes that really close parking spot! (Double blessing!!) Walk up or down the stairs in your house and be glad that you can do it! Choose the long-way around, instead of taking a short cut. Choose to participate in a physical activity (even if it is minimal) instead of just sitting and watching everyone else.
*Plan to do some kind of activity as a family after the big feast, or throughout the week-end. Take a hike together (we live in AZ, near a great county park) even if it is around the neighborhood.
*Follow your 2-5 year old child or grandchild around, and typically, you will get a real work-out!
*Choose to forgive. Don’t let the past control the present or the future. Holding a grudge, being controlled by anger/bitterness/resentment is a detriment to your physical, mental and spiritual health. Forgive and let it go!
*Take the ‘family photo’ of the gathering, even if some think it’s a corny thing to do. At our family wedding in September, I engineered this photo of my mom with her 5 great grandchildren. The photo captures a moment in time with 6 precious family members, ranging in age from 9 months to 92 yrs, coming together from Seattle, Phoenix, Chicago.
Immune System Challenges
All of this added stress can take a major toll on your immune system. Being in a variety of situations with people who are coughing and sneezing can bring on a desire to be in a ‘bubble’ to not be infected with anything extra! Mannatech, my corporate partner for Real Food Technology supplements, has just released a product that is for someone who ‘feels like they are coming down with something- but doesn’t have time to be sick!’ I have found MannaBoom easy to carry with me (comes in a convenient slim stick), easy to use, and it works! Perhaps one of the best benefits to families is that this product is suitable for children ages 4 and up. Contact me for the current product specials for immune system support.
I share with you six key ideas from my business mentor Jim Rohn. I enclose the full article with a Christmas CD that I give as a gift to new friends.
1. Be Temperate
2. Lower Your Expectations
3. Enjoy What You Can and Ignore the Rest
4. Stay Out of Debt
5. Take Time for Yourself
6. Focus on Your Spiritual Life
If you would like the complete article and/or the Christmas CD of my favorites, email me. I’d be glad to send either or both to you!
To you and your family, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving, 2014, and much more in the coming months and years!
Your friend in wellness,