With Hanukah tomorrow and 6 days until Christmas, holiday stress is peaking. So this week, we’re focusing on self-care basics to preserve health, happiness, and your remaining sanity. First, make time to eat; your body can’t run without fuel. Exercise once or twice by going to the gym, walking your dog, or riding your bike. Recharge your emotional engine by making time to savor what you enjoy-a great cup of coffee, a manicure, or visiting a friend. Feed your spirit by walking in nature, positive affirmations, and giving to others.
Second, practice relaxation. Take breaks in the day. Stop running around at record speeds. The “perfect gift” doesn’t exist so stop and breathe. Close your eyes and spend 5 minutes, breathing in to the count of 3, holding for a couple seconds and then out to the count of 3. If a thought creeps in, let it go. Focus you attention on your heart spreading calm and warmth through your body. Repeat 2-3 times a day. Studies show that relaxation boosts immunity, lessens pain and improves mood.
Finally, spend your time wisely. Choose one activity which makes the holidays special for you and Do It! Maybe baking or caroling or watching a holiday DVD. Don’t let your “to do” list consume you. Prioritize what has to get done, and cut out what you can. Stop and think “Will doing this make me feel good” or tired and stressed. The better you feel, the more you’ll enjoy the holidays and so will those around you.