4 Ways To Stay Pain-Free & Sane Through The Holidays!
Read On For How To Enjoy Your Holidays Pain-Free!
It’s finally here…the holiday season is upon us. This year’s late Black Friday festivities deposited us directly into December, leaving us less time to prepare and cranking up the pressure that much sooner for the remainder of the holiday season.
For some, the adrenalin-pumping go-go-go of the holidays is a fun rush. For others, the stress and overwhelm can be frustrating and cause pain, which becomes all the more isolating during what’s supposed to be a joyous and hospitable time of the year.
And by keeping just a few key commitments to yourself, you can enjoy the pleasures of the season, without the pain, frustration, overwhelm or the dreaded holiday stress!
QUESTION: Besides struggling to stay calm & steer clear of all the tempting foods that increase my pain levels, I’m worried about sticking to my remedial advice & exercises while I’m traveling and staying with family. I’m doing so well – how can I avoid falling off the wagon during the holidays and keep sane whilst surrounded by all of my family?
ANSWER: The holidays can be full of fun festivities, but all the fun and socializing can often lead to holiday burnout. Not to mention managing all the tempting foods and potentially tricky family dynamics. First off – you’re not alone! So many of us go through the same stuff every year: stress because of family tensions, traveling, being away from our routine, etc, and it’s anything but easy. But here’s the good news: You can stick to your health & wellness commitments during the holidays, and I’m going to give you a few tips on how to do it. After all, what’s an adult committed to maintaining their healthy lifestyle to do? Stay committed to 4 principles of sanity to keep yourself balanced and vibrant during the most hectic months of the year.
Here are my top 4 simple strategies to stay sane and pain-free through the holidays.
Make Your Time Good
Do not try to “make good time” on your ‘next car trip’ or ‘next family get-together’. We can’t improve time by speeding through it. We can only make time good by being present, taking deep breaths, finding the beauty in the voyage and enjoying every moment. Sure, make this convenient and organised for you; leave before peak travel hours, and opt for a less congested route. But if you do get stuck in traffic, surrender. Go with the flow. Choose to make your time good. You will get there either way.
Same goes for your flight – embrace flight delays. Buy yourself a funny, romantic or crazy book in the gift shop and lose yourself in the pages. Avoid mind-altering substances that drain you (coffee, cocktails, in-flight wifi). Treat the plane like a flying spa to avoid the stress and welcome the time: Bring your anti-inflammatory nettle tea bags. Drink ½ liter of water per hour in the air. Spritz your seat with colloidal silver spray and yourself with rescue spray. Hide behind your eye mask and earplugs; just completely zone out. With this mini-detox, you’ll arrive rejuvenated and better able to resist the cakes, chocolates, alcohol and other pain-causing, crazy-inducing carbs waiting for you at all those parties.
When you’re out of town or away from home, DO NOT stop your remedial advice and personalised exercises! Bring everything you need with you when you travel. Whatever it takes – just keep moving! Incorporate the whole family. Get a game of touch football going, play tag with the kids, go cross-country skiing – whatever encourages your family to get outdoors and be healthy together.
This holiday season FOCUS ON FUN. Remember why we have holidays to begin with? Let fun be the focus, and things will instantly lighten up with your family and friends. If an event is becoming crazy stressful, take a step back, take a deep breath and delegate responsibilities to ease your load.
Balance Your Binges
Now, about those parties. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence once in a while. But your system can only rev so high for so long. Balance every feast with a bit of planned famine. Don’t drink alcohol every day—you’ll inflame your liver, the site of our selfish, angry energy (which can occasionally trigger family spats…). After a big night out or a huge meal, stick to pain-fighting bone broth (its glucosamine and chondroitin soothe arthritis and joint pain), nourishing green veggies (to help strengthen your immune system and cleanse your gut) and anti-inflammatory ginger & turmeric tea (your liver’s best friend) for 12 to 24 hours, to allow your metabolic system reset.
Binge on social time, too: Instead of scheduling a meal or coffee with one friend at a time, plan one big reunion and get everyone together at once. Stay up late, laugh yourself silly, and then set aside some solid downtime the next day.
Strengthen your inner voice to say No. If you’re overwhelmed by party invites and already dreading the string of sugar and alcohol hangovers that lies in the months ahead? Just say no! It’s ok to do things your own way. You don’t need to go to every cocktail hour, and you certainly don’t have to drink and sugar binge at every social gathering. Feel free to use your, “No thanks,” as freely as you feel the need! Don’t binge, but do indulge a tiny bit. You can’t totally deprive yourself or you’ll be miserable. Trying to abstain completely from treats, not only during the holidays but in your everyday life, is a surefire recipe for disaster. However, give yourself limits – have one treat, and work it into your calorie allowance for the day.
Do You and no-one but You! Herd mentality can be strong over the holidays, particularly if you’re spending them with your extended family. The best way to make sure you’re getting the healthy food and exercise you need is to remember that it’s ok to be different. Moreover, you don’t need to intrude on anyone else’s routine, or malign their choices, in order to justify your own. It’s ok to be different! It’s what makes us unique!
Keep Drinking That Warm Water With Lemon
Seems like such a little thing, doesn’t it? Wake up, head to kitchen, get warm water, squeeze lemon, drink. Little, yes, but mighty. Lemon’s antioxidants bolster your immune system, zapping any viruses picked up at the party. The burst of vitamin C lowers cortisol, increases iron absorption and keeps asthma at bay. The lovely smell increases your alertness and concentration. But most importantly, this daily ritual helps you center and ground yourself in your own life, every single morning, even if you’re standing in your mother’s kitchen. Use that moment to replant your healthy habits’ foothold in your life, even in the most hectic times. Set your intentions to stay true to yourself and steer clear of pain, whether from inflammatory foods or inflammatory emotions.
Relax and take quality personal “Me Time”
When all the socializing gets to be too much, take a moment (or a few hours) to be by yourself in a setting that refills your proverbial bucket. Whether that means taking a walk, taking a nap, doing yoga, or otherwise clearing your mind, remember that it’s ok to take time alone to reassert your sanity. Also, avoid saboteurs – if a particular member of your family always brings you down or ridicules your lifestyle decisions, avoid him or her! Limit your conversation with that person. If friends or relatives can’t be supportive of you and health & wellness goals, don’t share the details of your life with them. Then they won’t be able to berate or criticise you.
Lastly, just relax. Remember that things might fall apart every now and again, and there’s always time to pick up the pieces and start fresh tomorrow. Take a deep breath and know that relaxing in the midst of total mayhem is a great way to gain a different perspective.
No matter how crazy the season, you can stay sane. You can be pain-free. Remember: This is your time. Stay Present & Make it Good.
Send me your thoughts after you read through. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions on how this helps you throughout the holiday season!
Wishing you all a healthy & safe holiday season!
I look forward to seeing you soon.
All My Best,