Well, it’s here.
The ubiquitous holiday season. I happen to love the beautiful, sparkling lights decorating homes and trees. Despite the bright lights, I notice many of my clients experiencing some holiday anxiety.
People of all walks of life worry during this time of year, and are concerned about money (how to pay rent and get gifts for loved ones), stressed about overeating or overdrinking, and sad because they don’t have anywhere to go.
Here are three tips that might help for the next week.
Make wellness a priority
Wellness, as a concept, is not limited to diet.
However, during this period, make a plan for what you’ll allow yourself to eat when attending parties or potlucks with loads of sugar, alcoholic drinks, and unhealthy foods. One common suggestion is to eat a healthy snack before heading out so you’re not ravenous when you get to the event.
Stick with your exercise plan, as you’ve been doing. It can be challenging to find time with the close of the year to start something new. So, keep going on your current exercise routine. By all means, add in more walking steps or a run to clear your head and get your blood pumping.
It’s also imperative to consider the wellness of our environment. You might be rolling your eyes at this one, but bear with me for a second. During this season, we like to wrap gifts and give them to our favorite people. Taking care to recycle the packaging is a great and easy step you can take.
Honor your values
Many of us have goals of living a conscious lifestyle that minimizes consumerism.
Gift-giving can be contentious for us because, although we want to give our loved ones some awesome presents, we don’t want to increase our carbon footprints or add to the never-ending piles of stuff people already have. Instead, give gifts of time and experience. My favorite gifts are tickets to concerts or plays, time with people, or food/kitchen related things.
Instead of taking an environmental and values break during the holidays, here’s an opportunity to act and think more mindfully. I challenge you to keep your values in check by bringing reusable bags when you’re shopping (and if you’re in California, this is important all the time). Additionally, remember what you stand for! I sometimes get caught up in the glittering lights and have to take a step back to ask myself if I really need that new sparkly sweater. The one I have is probably good enough.
In other words, simplify and make it easier on yourself.
Do as much as you can and still make time for yourself.
You’re only as productive as your most tired self allows. With the colder weather (in most places), our bodies can be drained and our resources depleted. Add assignments that need to be completed, your normal life (bills, friends, exercise, family) and mix in special events dedicated to the time of the year and you might get sick or burned out. Allow time to rest, meditate, practice yoga, or retreat into your calm space and practice self-care.
This essay originally appeared on Nina’s blog, afterdefeat.
Read Nina Rubin every week here on The Good Men Project!