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Recharge during the holidays with five simple tips

December 22, 2017


 

 

The hustle and bustle of the holidays causes us to run around frantically on autopilot.  Here are a few tips to keep you refreshed, balanced, and healthy during the holidays.  

 

1.  Allow for a mindful pause.   Our thoughts, emotions, and running stories are interconnected.  Setting the intention for a mindful pause centers the mind to be in the present moment and calms the nervous system.  Click here to listen to a guided mindful pause meditation to balance and re-center.  

 

2.  Engage in healthy eating habits.  The holidays are the worst and the best for a plethora of unhealthy snacks and meals. It starts with the leftover bowls of Halloween candy, then the Thanksgiving feast and pumpkin pies, and seasonal holiday flavorings of mint chocolate and apple spice treats often packed with empty calories and high amounts of sugar. Unfortunately, these sugary foods temporarily spike our glucose levels, lead us to crash, and we are left managing a foggy brain.  Engage in healthy eating habits to avoid overdosing on sugary foods, bloating, digestive issues, and excess weight gain.  So when that office buddy, friend, or family member offers you a second cookie, reflect on whether you are full.  And if you are, you have your answer.  Your mind, body, and digestive tract will thank you.  

 

3.  Reduce your carbon footprint.  It’s the time to make a difference and give back to our amazing planet.  Make your purchases count.  Opt for meaningful gifts and reduce the excess stuff.  Give a donation to charity or purchase a tree for family and friends.  You can make homemade gifts with materials you already have such as writing a heartfelt letter, or poem, giving a painting, baking cookies, or a cooking a meal for your loved ones.  Showing gratitude for others is good for your health.  Check out these websites to give to the less fortunate and to our planet while decreasing your carbon footprint.    

 

Gift of life when giving to charity:

  https://www.market.unicefusa.org/donate/?hd=1

  https://donate.worldvision.org/giftcatalog

 

Plant a tree in the national forest:

  https://www.nationalforests.org/donate/give-the-gift-of-trees

  https://thetreesremember.com/holiday-gift-trees/

 

4.  Power down and tune in.  Social media is a fabulous way to stay connected with your loved ones during the holidays, but the constant feed and interruptions can leave you scattered and drained.  More and more studies are showing that phone addiction and overuse cause activity changes and imbalances in the brain and increase depression.  Create a ritual during your day to have a no device time you while you engage in actual moments.   Savor a sunrise or sunset, cook a meal, take a walk, pet your cat or dog, or read a good book and engage your imagination.  

 

5.  Relax with lavender or rosemary.   Our nerves can get fried during the holidays and sometimes it's challenging to relax.  Scientific studies show that inhaling lavender or rosemary reduces stress by decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body.  When you are feeling burnt out and out of sorts elect to calm with aromatherapy.  

 

Tuning into the simple pleasures in life can lead to a calmer and more joyous holiday season.  I wish you balance, joy, and peace.  May the New Year be all that you imagine.  

 

References

 

Atsumi T, Tonosaki K. Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical

scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva. Psychiatry Res. 2007 

Feb 28;150(1):89-96. Epub 2007 Feb 7. PubMed PMID: 17291597.

 

Balconi M, Campanella S, Finocchiaro R. Web addiction in the brain: Cortical

oscillations, autonomic activity, and behavioral measures. J Behav Addict. 2017

Sep 1;6(3):334-344. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.041. Epub 2017 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 

28718301; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5700716.

 

Jean M. Twenge, Thomas E. Joiner, Megan L. Rogers, Gabrielle N. Martin.  Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time. Clinical Psychological Science. 2017 Nov 14.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702617723376

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