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Staying Well At the Holidays

Much of what you see about “holiday survival” talks about eating healthy food at home before party- going, how to fit a pared down workout schedule into an already crammed schedule, and making DIY gifts to give your budget a bit of a break. These are great ideas, and if they serve your particular needs this year, by all means, have at it and enjoy!

However, if you’re predisposed to any kind of holiday funk or if this year has been particularly challenging and you think you could benefit from something a little different, here are a few thoughts.

Our expectations of “the holidays” are often way overly ambitious, even if we aren’t completely conscious of them. A lot of people just feel several shades of blue around the holidays and don’t realize what might be driving that. Many of us have very different lives than we once had around the traditions we used to celebrate and this can leave us feeling somewhat less than festive and sparkly. Self-care and compassion are just the ticket for these kinds of holiday moods.

As the deep, lush darkness of winter approaches, the timing is perfect for a more intuitive use of your waking hours, perhaps spending some of your precious time in contemplation, introspection or prayer, and allowing the pull of silence and stillness to draw you into its nurturing, healing circle. Honoring the last of the Autumn as it passes, getting closer to nature, mindfully participating in the changing of the seasons ~ these are all activities that will nourish your soul and refresh your body and mind.

And if you’ve been experiencing challenging life changes, are dealing with illness or loss, or are caring for others during their difficulties, it’s especially important to take a little break, a holiday in fact, from all the rushing around, the shop ’til you drop mentality, the pressure to attend every gathering. Instead, if you can, make it a sacred time for yourself, unplug from the screens always grabbing your attention, take naps, make hot teas and bone broths, write in a journal, pick up one of those marvelous coloring books for grown-ups and express all the beautiful colors of your heart on the paper ~ how might that feel for a change?

And if you’re lucky enough to be flush right now, that’s wonderful! You can further enhance that feeling of fullness and wholeness and make an investment in your own personal account for a rainy day by honoring the wisdom of our ancestors, who very likely stayed at home more often, closer to the fire during this turning of the year and celebrated each other, the silence and the continuity of life as it surely will bring a new season in just a few short turns ‘round the sun.

Here’s to Happy Holidays! ~ Victoria, Forum Health Akron