It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again! With Christmas and the New Year right around the corner it’s a joyous time of year for celebration with our loved ones, spending time with family and friends, and reflecting on all the events that filled this last year, right?
Well if we’re being honest, along with this time of year being fun filled it’s also a very stressful time for many of us. The truth of the matter is that Christmas just isn’t what it used to be. Sadly commercialism has taken the forefront and the focus seems to have shifted onto buying more things than we really need.
This feeling that we must be the giver of the best gifts can wreak havoc on our sanity especially for those that simply just can’t afford it. It’s so disheartening, but certainly not shocking that depression and suicide rates are on the rise this time of year.
More than ever staying well by taking care of yourself during the holidays has become so important.
There’s a lot of pressure that can come with preparation for the holidays. The pressure of last minute shopping for gifts in crowded stores that make you want to pull your hair out by the time you leave. The endless house cleaning to prepare for out of town visitors. Numerous parties to attend. All the time and effort put into meal preparations, and the list goes on.
And let’s not forget about all of the normal daily routines we have to carry on with at the same time. And then after all the activities come to a halt we’re left to deal with more credit card debt, and sheer exhaustion.
What Are Some Things We Can Do to Stay Well?
Our immune system is the first line of defense against illness and stress depletes our immune system. And then there is cold and flu season with many airborne bugs flying around out there. Here are some suggestions to help you boost your immune system this holiday season.
Eat or juice fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C supports your immune system and what better way to supply your body with it then fresh whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Papayas, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, kiwis, cantaloupe, and cauliflower contain high levels of vitamin C.
Splurge with moderation. The typical holiday foods and beverages like sugar, saturated fats, and alcohol are all hard on the immune system so if you enjoy these (who doesn’t, right!?) try to do so in moderation. Do your body a favor and give it some alkalizing protection. Here’s a quick and easy tip: Have a cup of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in it each morning to offset some of the acidity from these types of foods. It also cleanses the liver which has to process all of that not so healthy stuff.
Support immunity with vitamins and herbs. A quality multivitamin and vitamin D can boost the immune system. Herbs like Echinacea, Elderberry, Garlic, and Astragalus are easy to find and can be taken in either capsule or liquid tincture form to support immunity. Flower Remedies can help bring emotional balance in times of stress too.
Don’t be afraid to say no. You only have so much time in a day so it’s okay to pick and choose your obligations. It’s not a bad thing to say no to things that will ultimately drain you in the end, it allows you to keep your sanity. This may mean cutting out a party or work function. The most important thing is for you to not feel overwhelmed so that you are present with yourself and those closest to you.
Create traditions that work for you. Remember that most holidays are traditions created out of certain events, but as time evolves traditions can too. Just because the neighbors have a Christmas tree, or lots of lights and decorations doesn’t mean you should feel pressure to follow suit. Likewise, gift giving is not about “keeping up with the Joneses” it should come from the heart. Create your own traditions that suit your personality, values, and means.
Take Time to Reflect and Be Grateful
It really helps to stay humble and keep the holidays in perspective when we are mindful that there are so many people in the world that make do with much less, some families can’t even afford food everyday, let alone a holiday meal. So in the true spirit of the holidays let us take time to reflect upon all the things we are grateful for that have brought and continue to bring us happiness and joy all year long.
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you manage the holiday stress, and enjoy a healthy time of year filled with lots of joy, peace, and love. If you have any tips you would like to share please leave a comment below.