Maintain A Healthy Mind & Body For The Holidays
Ah, we can already smell the Holiday Season among us. Let’s talk about how to maintain a healthy body and mind for the Holidays. And yes, maintaining a quality sleep schedule is one of those!
For some, the leaves have begun to change and the smell of fireplaces burning fills the evening air. For others, there’s just enough crisp in the air to feel that fall feeling. Especially, If you spot a person in a pair of UGGs with a pumpkin spice latte on a cool evening walk along the southern California coastline, you know that time.
We can’t help but feel giddy about all the festivities that are soon to come. The social gatherings, the homemade, drool-worthy food, yearly traditions, and hopefully reuniting with loved ones we have been away from for far too long.
Although there is a light and joyful feel in the air, believe it or not, many become even MORE stressed over the Holiday Season. If you are a parent or have a large family, you are probably dramatically shaking your head signaling “YES, I feel seen” fashion.
Elevated levels of stress can come from:
- Worrying about finances
- Maintaining Exercise
- Healthy Eating
- Getting the right gift
- Seeing/getting along with family
- Hosting Parties
...the list goes on. However, we don’t have to give in to the stress. We can take the time to prepare mentally and come up with a plan on how we can best show up for ourselves, so we can then show up as a light for everyone we will be interacting with.
Maintaining A Quality Sleep Schedule
Busier than ever + more stress = suffering sleep. A critical part of maintaing a healthy mind and body during the holidays is in the quality and quantity of sleep we get.
Let’s make sure your sleep doesn’t suffer this year. Putting sleep at the top of your to-do list is going to be the single most important thing you do for your stress levels. Your body and mind will thank you and so will your loved ones.
When someone asks you..”
Wow, how did you manage to do all of this for Thanksgiving?”
Your answer is going to be…
”I’ve been using Sleep Remedy and getting by 8 hours of quality sleep every night.”
The proof is in the pudding. Make sleep a priority and witness a positive outcome for yourself!
- Try your best to stick to the same wake-sleep cycle. We know some nights are going to get thrown off due to parties and events, but the more consistent you can be, the better. If you don’t get enough quality sleep a night or two, set aside some “ you time” and take that quality afternoon nap you so deserve.
- Prep for jet lag- You want to show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for all your loved ones once you plan on flying across the country or globe. Although jet lag is unavoidable, there are ways to mitigate its negative impact on your sleep schedule. Read more about that here.
- Get your friends and family on board- Make a pact to make sleep a priority during family visits. This will lessen the chance of any grumpiness that could potentially lead to an argument. No grinches allowed!
- Power down the electronics & bring out the board games!- What a perfect time to get the whole family in on a classic board game. Keeping the TV off before bed will allow everyone to step away from high stimulation and relax before bed. Some other relaxing activities could be making Christmas cards, decorating gingerbread houses ( without eating ALL of the ingredients), or reading a book.
Keep Moving Your Body
For many, the Holidays mean going home to a childhood home or hometown, which means there’s an opportunity to go do all the things you once loved to do growing up. Maybe it’s a local hike, browsing a farmers market, or hitting the beach boardwalk. It’s always fun to include friends and family in staying active.
Not only is doing something active going to get your body moving, but it will also distress the mind and release those endorphins we all know and love. After, we can be calm and collected to take on whatever interaction we may run into.
Once again, getting adequate sleep is all about managing stress levels.
Make it fun and try to do something new every morning before family breakfast. Your body and mind will thank you and you can rest assured that you did indeed deserve the big slice of pumpkin pie.
As the days become shorter in the winter, it’s even more important to get out and soak in the early morning sun. We have talked about Seasonal Affective Disorder before and know how real it can impact some. Be proactive and make getting some Vitamin D a priority, no matter how cold it might be.
Remain Mindful For The Holidays
Don’t overload yourself with obligations this year. One of the most wonderful things about the Holidays is getting to (hopefully) see all your friends and family, especially, after the year we have had. However, this can lead to a lot of stress and an overwhelming to-do list. Divvy up the tasks and to-dos to all involved and make sure not to take on the brink of it. After all, that is what friends and family are for, to be there to support!
To avoid extra stress and even more sleep deprivation begin making your holiday to-do list well ahead of time and be aware of all the little things you want to accomplish before family arrives. This will ensure you are not already drained before your loved ones arrive and all the fun really begins.
- Be aware of your triggers- Identify your holiday stress triggers early, so you have a game plan when you begin to feel the overwhelm set in.
- Step away from it all when you need- Don’t hesitate to take a moment for yourself. Go outside for a walk alone or go into a separate room for a quick mediation.
- Make holiday You Time- Yes, the holidays are for being surrounded by and celebrating loved ones, but take some time to celebrate YOU! Without the pressure or expectation to show up for everyone else.
All of the above is to help avoid sleep deprivation during the holidays. The better you are able to prepare and manage your mind and body during the days, are going to set you up to get the recovery and rejuvenation you need at night. A well-rested you is a better you. Spread the knowledge to all your friends and family and watch everyone’s mood, behavior, and energy levels improve from getting quality sleep every night.
Making all the above a priority and a non-negotiable part of your day is going to set your mind and body up to feel their best for the Holiday season.