people with diverse characteristics –
linked by social ties, shared common perspectives, and engagement in joint action within mutual settings or locations.
How are you doing this holiday season? For many people it looks substantially different than it otherwise would. Regardless of what seems standard to us most years, I’ll bet on the fact that in the midst of the season there is some thing, if not many things, we can be grateful for.
During this time of year it is important to set and understand your true level of expectation. A hinderance ensues when you are let down due to highly set expectations. Expectations you may have for yourself, consciously or subconsciously. Expectations regarding work, deadlines, and your ability to be pulled in too many directions before you ‘break’. Expectations to give and help everyone else, but yourself. Expectations of others – friends, neighbors, family members – when the fact of the matter is you don’t know what each individual may be going through within these months. Expectations of the perfection for the holiday season.
It is biologically woven in us as humans to develop a response when chronic stress and fatigue goes unchecked.
Physical: poor nutrition, lack of sleep, intense physical exertion
Mental: worry, anxiety, perfectionism, judgement
Emotional: Fear, guilt, anger, shame
Psycho-spiritual: lack of spiritual alignment, difficult relationships, life challenges
Yes, this year more than ever, may bring up a different set of challenges for many, but the good news is that understanding your stress levels and triggers allows for you to reduce the level of burn out, angst, or frustration (or potentially, never reach it).
Below are a few tips as you enter the last few months of the year. With sensory stimulation on overload, depending on neuroscience patterns and emotional state, let’s be patient with one another. Let’s remember we each have our own story to tell, with joys and pain. Let’s align our behaviors with true well-being and happiness, for self and for those around us.
Nourishment for your body that consists of high-quality protein rich meals, omega fatty acids, and fermented foods.
Keep your gut/brain connection top notch with probiotics such as Coconut Cult yogurt, miso soup, dill pickles, kombucha, etc.
Eat high-quality eggs, red meat, poultry, avocado, nuts and seeds, cruciferous vegetables, quinoa, etc.
Preventative Omega 3s and 6s can be garnered from chia pudding (chia seeds + coconut milk), flax seed, wild salmon, Atlantic cod, mussels, tuna, mangos, brussels sprouts, olives, ghee, avocado oil, and food-based supplements. Reduce or steer clear of processed and trans fats.
Hydrate with 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. Decrease the caffeine and alcohol (or recoup with more water for the flushing of adrenal system). Green juices with minimal to no sugar, and herbal teas are also great hydrators.
Movement and Music
It’s as simple as moving your body and enjoying that movement! Strengthening and stretching your muscles allows for stability, balance, and coordination. Throw on a playlist that makes you smile; gift yourself the beauty of a mind-body connection.
There is only so much one person can do. Understand this, embrace this, and allow yourself some grace. The never-ending to-do lists, the holiday perfectionism, the hoopla of gifts… What if you took a step back and relished in the simplicity of the year. Ask yourself when making decisions, “is this something that brings joy?” or are you being talked into it/guilted into it, etc. Less is more! Accept help whenever possible and make it a year of expending your energy on what it most important to you and your family.
If you are in the position to give back this year, it is needed more than ever. Small and necessary donations go a long way for families and children who are struggling during this season or always. Take note of how you can use your strengths as a human to give to others who may be less fortunate. Rally a group to join in the altruistic ways.
Self-love and relaxation
Real self-care isn’t just massages, facials, baths, and favorite holiday movies. It is the difficult conversations, setting boundaries, and taking a stand for yourself.
When a day becomes too overwhelming, sit with yourself, journal, read a book, learn about a topic you are passionate about, take a walk. All of this helps you process and allows for you to calm your mind and emotion.
You can work, work, work and push through all you want but true LIVING is where you’ll find happiness. Smiling, laughing, conversing with other and learning from them can provide wisdom. Allowing space before a reaction, deep breathing and rhythmic patterns, sleeping well…these add up and are ways in which you learn to love yourself more and more each day.
Real connection through communication
A digital detox of inbox responsibilities and social media outlets reduces your need to respond instantly, scroll mindlessly, and compare. The world can go on without you for a few days; notice a level of calm transcend upon you and the central nervous system’s processing synapses when you let go.
Call your family, FaceTime, actually talk with friends, schedule an in-person meetup with those in your social network, if this is an option. Increase your actual communication and quality time with loved ones. Create game nights, put together puzzles, spend time cooking, etc. Great discussion provokes truthful and enjoyable next steps!