Holidays are hectic and stressful.

I wish i felt like i had a provocative or windsome title for this article, but in reality it all boils down to the holidays and our health.  This has been top of my mind for a number of reasons this year.  Let me first say i love the sparkle and glimmer of Christmas… from the tree glistening, to the smell of fresh baked cookies.  But Christmas has been an emotional minefield since my parents have passed on.  Out of this quarter century post parents on earth I have begun a little bit of a check list of self care that make the season better, more possible.  Perhaps you might find some of the tips handy:

During the holidays be sure to take care of yourself:

  • Get a bit more sleep – try to turn in 30 minutes earlier
  • Turn off the electronics before bed – those screens are addicting, whether catching up on email, watching a movie, or roving social media, but there is something about those screens that can be disruptive to sleep patterns.  If you can, set your phones, ipads, etc in a different room than the bedroom, or just turn them off for the night.
  • Drink more water – especially in the party going season where drinks are flowing.  Alcohol tends to dehydrate… so be sure to drink enough water to replenish yourself.
  • Everything in moderation – ok, now i sound like my mother – but the truth is a few holiday cookies, or that adult beverage are ok… its just knowing how to set a limit, and honoring that limit that counts.
  • Be ok if this year’s holidays are not the same – that sounds odd to say, but our lives change, people get sick, or there was a death in the family that changes what we do, or can do.  Be ok with not putting up those decorations this year, or not cooking the family feast and having the herd in.  Sometimes a change is needed.  (OK, says the woman who has gathered the clan for so many years, until my mom’s passing and now can barely muster putting together something to take to someone else’s house).  Changes happen.  And we have the power to allow ourselves to do something different.
  • Plan and purpose to build in down time during the hectic season… Its ok to say no to some of those fun offers to party, and celebrate.  Know your limits, and be ok limiting yourself to allow for rest, revitalization, and time away.
  • Unplug – turn off the electronics, and just enjoy the time present with those you love.  Electronics can be great, but they can also be distractions and stressors.
  • Breathe.   Just breathe.  Be ok taking time away from the routine and do nothing, or spend time doing something you seldom have time to do.  One of my luxurious indulgences is a marathon of old movies… no stress to get anything done, just relax, and watch old movies.

As you cruise through these holidays, I hope you find new excitement, energy and enthusiasm for the holidays.  Make them special, and take care of yourself.   Here is wishing the season is filled with the best – loving family, great friends, times of celebration and relaxation, and your good health.