The holiday season has arrived. The first snowfall always brings excitement. There really is something magical about snowfall in the holiday season. I have been listening to my friends, co-workers and even my patients discuss all the things that have to get done before Christmas. Other people’s lists just make my head spin, I can’t imagine what it is like to be the person in charge of checking off each item. This is a joyful season. It is so important to celebrate and embrace the peace and hope that this holiday represents. Now, having said that, it is so easy to lose sight of the peace and hope. As women most of us are the planners and workers that try to carry out all the “things” that our family has come to expect during this holiday season. There is nothing wrong with creating the atmosphere and experiences that will become beloved memories of our children and grandchildren. But ladies, it is easy to lose track of taking care of yourself. I observe on a daily basis the results of people who neglect to take care of themselves and the effect on physical,mental and spiritual health.
[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]So here are a few suggestions that may help de-stress the holiday season.[/typography]
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]*Sleep[/typography]
This is the number one thing that can make or break how you cope with stress. And I know it is easy to say and harder to do, especially for mom’s of young children. Many studies have shown that lack of restful sleep decreases coping skills, increases stress hormones in your body that can also add to weight gain and insulin resistance. Sleep cycles are 90″ in duration. REM sleep is the most restful and restorative. A minimum of three 90″ cycles are needed to keep your body functioning in normal parameters. Any more than the three cycles are a bonus. Aim to keep your family routines as normal as possible. Such as getting the kids to bed at the normal time and if you have parties or family get togethers try not to be out more than one night a week. That way the kids will not have the cumulative effect that loss of bedtime routines can bring.
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]*Spend only what you have[/typography]
Financial strains during this season seem to be the norm. This is a sensitive area for most people. Gift giving can get out of control. Ladies, your immediate family, husband and kids come first. And really my experience has been that the kids do not need a lot of presents under the tree to enjoy Christmas. The festivities of baking cookies, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, decorating the tree, having sparkling apple cider for breakfast Christmas morning are the things that cost little but bring a lot of fun . My adult children still want to have the sparkling apple cider on Christmas morning.
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]*Take time to have fun [/typography]
Take a ride in the car to look at the decorations in downtown Burlington or through some of the neighborhoods. Go ice skating or sledding. Build a snow man and let the kids decide how to dress it up. Laughter is a natural way to promote the natural feel good endorphins in our bodies. Little things like spending time listening to music, taking a bubble bath, watching a good movie(My most favorite holiday film is “It’s a Wonderful Life”) can all help to keep you sane.
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]*Prioritize [/typography]
And last but not least decide what are the two or three things that are most important to you and your family to be a part of this season and let the rest go.
These are all suggestions and you may have things that work well to take care of yourself. I would love to hear what some of those things are.
There is still a part of me at 50-something that gets the butterflies in my stomach and excited during the Christmas holiday. And next year there will be a new baby in the family to teach traditions to as he grows up.