As the holiday season draws nearer, and especially since this year Thanksgiving and Christmas fall so close together, we encourage our patients to slow down just a little, determine what is really important this season, and try to avoid those elements that add unwanted stress. There are many expectations and commitments that go hand-in-hand with the holidays: parties, family gatherings, shopping, debt…and we know what a toll that can take on patients’ health.
Spend less money and more time:
Back in June economists determined that since Thanksgiving is observed so late this year, Black Friday sales should start earlier. So we have been bombarded with messages since October that we should shop and buy sooner rather than later! Homemade presents and gifts of time spent with loved ones are more heartfelt, and are ultimately more rewarding for both the giver and the receiver.
Take time to dawdle:
Rushing around from store to store tempts us to come home and plop on the couch, remote in hand. By slowing down and making the time to go for a walk, cooking a healthy meal (and then eating it at leisure!), or playing a family game of cards, you create more opportunities for family and friend engagement and less time for stress and apprehension (about what HAS to get done). Allowing opportunities for time well spent together during the holidays will award you with long-lasting, joyful memories.
When opportunity knocks, don’t answer:
It really is okay not to attend every party, event, engagement that you are invited to. Seriously. Prioritize your schedule so that you only make time for the events you really feel are important. More than likely, you will better enjoy the engagements you do attend, and emerge from the holiday season less frazzled and more ready to begin the new year.
The best gift this holiday season? A healthy mind and body. Be mindful of your well-being through the holidays, and truly appreciate all that this season has to offer.
We wish you a happy and healthy holidays!