You know the holidays are coming up on us just like snowstorm. We look out the window and there it is snow. We can’t see our way out of the garage. We are unable to maneuver on the streets. You may wonder, how Monika would know about this, she lives in Southern California. Believe me, I know. I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada—cold, windy, and long. For six months of the year cold is the norm. This is the very reason I live where I live now. Not saying that I might never live again in a climate as challenging as what I grew up with; however, for now I’ll bask (not too long, of course) in the rays of the Southern California sun.
Now back to the holidays coming upon us so quickly. Weeks away from Thanksgiving, our thoughts can’t help going towards the inevitable, preparation and all the subsequent stress attached. Always the rule of the day, isn’t it?
I invite you to add these tips to your holiday arsenal for managing the stress of this yearly ritual.
Tip #1: Don’t go to a social event starving. You are bound to overeat and will usually do so by eating the wrong things. Have a healthy and nourishing snack beforehand comprising of a little bit of protein (1/2-1 oz) and a healthy carbohydrate like carrots, apples, or a whole grain cracker. This will help stave off any drop in blood sugar you may experience, which is really the cause of your overeating in this situation. You may start eating anything and everything in site if you don’t manage your destined blood sugar fluctuations in advance.
Tip #2: Don’t over-schedule. It’s not a race. Try and choose only one or two events per week, no more. You will only get exhausted, drained, and may end up doing a lot of stress eating and drinking. We are so trained in our society to say, “Yes,” to everything during the holidays. Go there, come over, drop by, even if it’s “just a short visit.” The ongoing activity can seriously drain your adrenals and nervous systems. Even though it may be fun, being over-obligated is a strain. Just choose carefully and try to pace yourself.
Tip #3: Take a break. You don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge and work right through the holidays. Ebenezer, prior to his transformation, was not a generous man, not with his money nor his with his spirit. He was unable to give of himself. I want you to start being generous and give yourself the gift of time—time to recoup, assess, regenerate, and R-E-L-A-X. Don’t let relaxation be a nice concept and throw up your hands and say, “It’s literally impossible for ME!” Make a choice and dedicate a certain amount of time to yourself every day. You will be better able to handle what comes up during the rest of the day if you do this one small thing for yourself.
Tip #4: Don’t overspend. During the holidays, we end up feeling obligated to spend, spend, and spend. Half the time we don’t even know what to buy and why we are buying something, anything, just for the sake of having something to give. There’s no need to be extravagant. Giving something small, something you put some thought into, is worth more than giving or getting just anything.
The other day, my husband and I were celebrating our 11th Wedding Anniversary. I was picking out photos from a magazine to put on my new dream board someday. I looked at a few of the photos and became inspired to create an anniversary card from scratch. Sure, I could have purchased a card, but the act of putting in a few minutes and putting some creativity and heart into this card made it even more special for both of us. This is just an example of doing something small yet meaningful for those in your life. Make sure you focus your spending on the important things like your health, beauty, and joy for you and your family.
Tip #5: Stay home. Yes, that’s right. You do not need to travel every year. Have friends and family visit you this year. You can actually have more control of your environment, food, and time when you do this, especially with your diet. You can have a little more control over what does come into your house.
Regarding your environment, add something different to your home this year, making it special, comforting, and festive. Extravagance is not necessarily the order of the day. Remember, you can do something special with your surroundings not just during the holidays, but also all year round. Think Martha Stewart—every day is festive when she’s around.
So plan for an extraordinary heart felt time this year. Keep trimness, harmony, and pacing in mind, while maintaining your stamina and you will easily experience joy. You won’t be sorry.
(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the “Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.” Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit www.coachingforhealth.com.