Slow down. Savor it.
When the brisk Autumn air slowly whisks into a wintry gust, the nights begin to darken sooner and the sweaters, scarves and boots arrive onto the bodies of many, you know that just around the corner is the lively holiday season.
Families flock together, joyful jubilees are heard everywhere and everyone’s engrossed in activities with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. What gets buried beneath the chaos is renewing and cherishing one’s self.
Holidays aren’t just about taking care of one another, the gifts or the food, it is also about being mindful and taking care of yourself, after all, it’s called a holiday break for a reason. Savor it.
With so many things to do through the holiday breaks; decorating, dinner parties, activities with the family, traveling and so forth, how is anyone supposed to take time to replenish themselves? You need to do everything in moderation. Slow down.
Instead of packing each point in your day with something to prepare for, someplace to be or someone to visit, take your morning and be with yourself before you jump into the chaos.
The “holiday blues” can be a real thing and depression and stress can settle in, despite family and friends being about. According to WebMD, the need to shop, combined with less time to exercise, can increase stress.
Rhonda Lesley, director of personal development and counseling at Northwest Missouri State University, certified Gottman relationship therapist and registered yoga teacher, has a busy life for herself. She oversees the personal development programs, teaches yoga courses, has her own patients and a home life. Lesley notes that taking time to reflect and be with yourself is important.
“I love to hike and just listen to the birds and look at the horizon,” Lesley said. Anything that puts me in a slower pace; music playing in the background sitting with the dog…I’ll enjoy her by the fire.”
You will feel physically better when your life is centered and your mind is going to be clearer, she explains. Take the time for each moment that you get by yourself and with others, you don’t always have to be in a rush. Savor it.
With the holiday season comes many hectic hooplas as you chatter with relatives and prepare plump meals for everyone to feast on. In between the clatter of casserole dishes being set forth on the green and red garnished table, take a second before diving into dinner.
It isn’t just about trying to make “low fat everything” to watch, not only your waistline, but your general wellbeing. Karen From, director of the Northwest didactic program in dietetics, says everything needs to be done in moderation.
From said the biggest weight gain is three to five pounds from November to January. With that, The New England Journal of Medicine says that most people don’t ever lose the weight they put on during the holidays.
“You don’t make a low fat sugar cookie, you make sugar cookies with real butter and instead of eating 10, you eat two and you go for a walk,” From said.
Instead of thinking that you should only fill up on fresh fruits or vibrant veggies to attain a better and healthier lifestyle, take things in moderation.
“I think you should enjoy the foods you love but in moderation, try not to go back for seconds,” From said, adding to enjoy both the food and the people sharing the meal with you. Slow down.
People are mistaken for what a striving to be healthy lifestyle is. You don’t have to learn to run a marathon or eat only celery sticks. Take time for yourself to unwind, relax, center yourself and take care of your mental health. With that at hand, take the foods you enjoy in moderation and be active.
Throughout the holiday season there are many things to do, people to see and dinners to eat but, “it’s not about perfection, it’s about choosing things that are more healthy more often than things that probably aren’t as healthy,” From said.
During the holidays, just slow down and savor all of it.