Self-care is a buzz word in the health and wellness world for good reason. Studies show when we take better care of ourselves, we feel recharged and able to be more generous with our time, energy, money, and talents. However, when we get busy, it is all too easy to skip our morning run or evening yoga class in favor of making a little more time for other events, errands, and obligations. The holiday season poses some significant challenges to practicing self-care as our schedules fill with family gatherings, work events, and more and being prepared for this can help us to carve out the much-needed time for ourselves that can make this time of year particularly vibrant and rich. Here are a couple of our strategies to keep us burning bright instead of burning out:
Have on-the-go options at the ready
Start the day right with a green ginger superfood smoothie, grab and go Orgain Nutritional and Protein Shakes, or make a batch of adaptogenic vanilla bean bites for a little extra support. By having some healthy options on hand, mornings can be less hectic and set a better tone for the rest of the day. Green smoothies are great because you’ll know that you started the day with greens, protein, and healthy fats and grabbing an Orgain shake or protein bar means you’ll have some clean fuel to burn later. If you prefer savory snacks, this supergreens hummus with veggie sticks is a great alternative to store bought versions because it is loaded with iron, folate, fiber, and key nutrients to satisfy cravings and keep you satiated between meals. This is also a good time to reduce caffeine and sugar intake as they can heighten stress levels and lower your body’s ability to cope with everyday stress by putting your adrenals into overdrive. Tuckered out adrenal glands mean higher cortisol levels in the body and can make you feel fatigued, burned out, and inhibit your body’s natural functions like sleep, digestion, healthy appetite, and immunity.
Taking even a few minutes throughout the day to walk, stretch, and take a break from errands or your desk can not only release endorphins and increase circulation in your body, making you feel happier and more energized, it can also sharpen your mind and help you regain focus and be more productive. Pushing through tasks and hours of uninterrupted work and convincing yourself you don’t have time for a walk, run, or a yoga class can impede your job satisfaction and self-esteem. it’s important during especially stressful and fast-paced seasons to carve out a little time for yourself to recharge so you can freely give of your time and attention to those you love most.
Breathe and meditate
Just two minutes of deep breathing can restore a sense of calm and clarity, helping you decide where to put your time and attention instead of drowning in to-do’s and anxiety. Meditation can also help you pause throughout the day to refocus on your intentions and the bigger picture. Studies show that a sense of self-transcendence (seeing the bigger picture) can help us feel more energized, grateful, and content… all welcome feelings during the holiday season.
Drink more water
Staying hydrated can lead to more energy, fewer headaches, better skin, improved digestion/body functions, and can reduce the need for stimulants like caffeine. We often consumer more sugar, alcohol, and caffeine during the holidays, so it’s a great time to remember to refill those water bottles and keep them nearby all day. Plus, dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, so if you’re working to keep holiday treats to a minimum, staying hydrated is a great start.
We often find ourselves with a heavier to-do list during the holidays, so do yourself a favor and prioritize sleep so you can check off all those extra boxes efficiently. Minimizing screen time after dinner and getting a good amount of exercise are great ways to help you turn off your brain before bed.
Mindfully choosing what to indulge in means you get to enjoy every luscious bite of a dessert- just watch the portion size and make sure you keep it balanced by moving a little more during the holiday season. Focus on the big picture of your health and habits and give yourself permission to enjoy a slice of pie or two.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and to celebrate another year around the sun together. Prioritizing yourself and your relationships during this busy time of year can keep your perspective in check and allow you to truly celebrate what matters most.