Have you slipped into the tired—pun intended—thinking that the last few weeks of the year must, inevitably, be the most exhausting and energy-draining of all?
Don’t beat yourself up if you have. It’s true that what sets December apart are all the holiday commitments, visits, and special activities that add to the usual flurry of tasks and responsibilities. The unfortunate result: feeling off balance, burned out, and too fatigued to enjoy the traditions and benefits of the holiday season.
And who wants to feel that way during “the most wonderful time of the year”? Not me, and surely not you, either. So let’s change the way we approach that year-end to-do list. Apply this second handful of wellness secrets (Psst! Review the ones from the last newsletter here [link to first article]), and you’ll be in top form throughout the holidays. Better yet, there’s no expiration date on beneficial habits. These tips add up to feeling great now…and even after the last New Year’s party is over.
Secret 1: Unbalanced Holiday Eating Leads to Sluggishness.
If you’re feeling bloated, tired, and out of sorts, you might be eating more than your share of
sugar and other undesirable ingredients that contribute to weight gain and digestive distress. Going to a party or other food-centered event? Please don’t skip meals in anticipation of eating at your destination. Arriving at a function starved will lead to poor eating decision-making and overindulgence. Instead, before you go out, please remember to “eat before you eat,” and have healthful protein and fiber ever few hours to keep energy high and cravings at bay.
Secret 2: If You’re Feeling Down When Everyone Seems Up…
The holiday blues are more common than you might think. Special days often spark reflection on the past—though not always the happy past. And the sense that the happiness you’re waiting for hasn’t arrived can be the catalyst for feeling isolated—as if you’re missing out—or dissatisfaction with the present.
You can change that mood of defeat. A session of NET (Neuroemotional Technique) can help to balance these feelings and reawaken your self-esteem and inner strength.
Also, minimize socializing with unhappy, bah-humbug types, and make a point of contacting upbeat friends and family.
Secret 3: Stop Depleting Too Many Energy Resources At Once.
When many responsibilities and activities place a demand on your physical wellbeing, there’s a real risk you’ll run out of steam. Dashing to parties, drinking, eating, shopping, baking, juggling tasks at work to meet end-of-year deadlines—and how many other things demand our efforts? Keep at that pace and you’re sure to wind up feeling empty and stressed, which is harmful to your immune system, not to mention your sense of happiness and fulfillment. Your best bet: prioritize and eliminate unnecessary drains on your reserves starting today. Which leads to…
Secret 4: Learn to Say NO.
A major energy zapper is am inability to recognize those personal limits. Sometimes, you’ve just plain had enough. Wouldn’t it be better to turn down an invitation that is going to exhaust you? to refuse seconds offered by well-meaning “food pushers”? to refuse the extra drink? to politely decline invitations and requests when you’re already scheduled to the max?
Knowing and respecting your personal boundaries is essential to navigating the holiday season in a healthy, balanced way. And since the same will apply in the year ahead, this season is an exceptional time to practice such skills.
Secret 5: Give in to holiday treats…reasonably.
One highlight of the holiday season is surely the food, mostly in quantity rather than nutritional quality. All of people’s favorite treats are available and certainly tempting. Homes and offices alike are overrun with candies, cakes, cookies, chocolates (!)…you name it. Remember, too much sugar will surely zap your energy and lead to more sugar cravings in the future.
What to do? First, breathe. Then take three small but important steps.
- Get everything enticing you out of your direct line of sight. Stop the overwhelm, and you’ll halt the feeling that you must act on the craving.
- Choose one, or at maximum two, special treats. Eat slowly, savoring and enjoying every single bite. Remember that the holidays are about enjoying yourself, and that can mean having your favorite treats, now and then, in a moderate way.
- Give away, or just throw away, all the excess. Don’t feel guilty; you’re rejecting no one, and you accepted the pleasure the treats were intended to bring. Do remember, this won’t be the last time ever you’ll be offered such things…they’ll be around again before you know it.
Turning down the possibilities that can create some personal chaos (and the regrets that come with them) doesn’t mean skipping the things we genuinely appreciate about the holiday season. You’ll find many ways to maintain your energy and balance if you keep that as a reasonable end goal. So I encourage you to go out and enjoy yourself, feel in control, and know that—by caring for yourself now—you’ll have a head start going into the new year with more energy and wellbeing than you might have had in a previous holiday season.
I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday season, and look forward to connecting with you in 2012!