"I'm Dreaming of a Calm Christmas": Great Tools to Help You Not Only Cope with the Holidays, but ENJOY Them!
THE HOLIDAYS ARE ON THE HORIZON AND THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING!
All of us are in the same boat right now, but think back to your childhood. Holidays were ALWAYS filled with joy, excitement, and fun. So, when and why did things change?
A survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center in which they asked people what they dread most about the holiday season. The results are exactly what you would expect:
68%: Crowds and long lines
37%: Gaining weight
37%: Getting into debt
28%: Gift shopping
24%: Seeing certain relatives
16%: Having to attend holiday parties or events
15%: Having to be nice (I am assuming this means being nice to people you do not like - LOL)
12%: Holiday tipping
But instead of the negativity, what about the joy associated with this time of year? I mean, is it possible to make all of the above FUN and yet also filled with HEALTH?
Maybe I am idealistic, but I do believe it is possible to maintain your health while remaining stress-free during the holidays. Before I share a handful of strategies that are guaranteed to make this year better (as long as you follow-through with them, of course), I’d like you to do this exercise. It’s one you can do for yourself, or you can even share it with all of us, which I encourage you to do if you are comfortable with it.
Here’s the exercise:
Spend a moment seeing yourself living out the absolutely ideal holiday season. (Remember, fuzzy targets don’t get hit, which is why most people are unable to accomplish their goals -- because they never truly define the desired outcome and envision what will become possible as this outcome is achieved).
Who would you spend time with?
What foods would you eat?
What presents would you purchase?
What gifts would you receive?
Where would you be located?
How would you define this holiday season as successful?
Every successful outcome begins with a clear plan of where you are going.
Write out a response to these questions and either keep it for only your eyes OR share it with others.
I am going to share over 10 strategies with you and if you would like my 7-day Stress Free Holiday tips and recipes you can enroll here for free. https://mybodysite.com/dr-corinne/stress-free-holiday-tips-recipes.
But I need one commitment from you. Please do not let this be a “Jacuzzi Experience.” Jacuzzis feel great, but they don’t offer much value. No one is changing their life because they sit in a hot tub for 45 minutes. The only way to make this impactful is if you truly commit to taking action this holiday season.
The first strategy to stay healthy and stress-free during the holidays is to BE AWARE.
Awareness is such a powerful skill and from what I have seen, it is the difference between making your goals real or missing the mark. We live in an extremely on-the-go society and distraction has become our new norm. As a result, many people make poor choices when it comes to the foods they put in their bodies, ignore the people they love the most, and struggle with productivity.
My challenge for you is to be extremely aware of the following:
-The foods/drinks you put in your body
-The time you allocate to be with your family
-The money you spend
-The attitude that shows up when traveling
-The amount of physical activity
-The people you interact with
Your goal should be to ask yourself questions as you engage in any of the above activities.
For example, if you are about to consume a variety of sugary treats or an unhealthy meal, ask yourself a series of questions:
How does this decision serve me?
Will it get me closer to my ideal holiday season?
Is there a better choice I can make that will help me achieve my goal?”
As human beings, we are often extremely impulsive with our decisions (especially when given a variety of options to choose from) which is why the holidays are often difficult for most. If we give ourselves the permission to think, even for a few seconds prior to acting, our choices will be more aligned with our vision for creating an ideal holiday season.
Another example would be if you are spending time with family, ask yourself a series of questions:
Am I showing up as the character I want to be in this situation?
Will I be proud of the way I acted during this event?
What can I do to be the best version of myself regardless of the circumstances?”
When it comes to eating, I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but food is fuel, and even if you allow yourself to indulge during this time of year, the fundamentals are really important:
You can control when you eat, so avoid any food at least 3 hours before going to bed.
Chew your food really well.
Fill your plate one time and make sure it is colorful.
Consume at least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Another really great strategy that I have seen help people is to stock your freezer with healthy meals. Everyone is busy during this time of year with shopping, decorating, traveling, etc., and we typically grab something on the go which is almost never healthy. But if you plan ahead and either prepare foods that are in your refrigerator OR have a variety of options that have been frozen, it makes it much easier to ensure you are giving your body what it truly needs.
If you are going to an event and bringing something, I always recommend contributing a food choice that is healthy and enjoyable for YOU! This will guarantee that at least one item at the party will meet your needs and keep you on track.
Realize that holidays can lead to somewhat out-of-control behavior. Maybe you will splurge slightly, get out of your routine for a bit, and even eat some foods that you know are wrong, but the key is to avoid becoming victimized by your temptations. This means DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, have any tempting food items in your home. Be extra clean and strict outside of the holiday parties because this will help neutralize some behaviors that you might not be so proud of.
This is an obvious strategy, but one that I must include because far too many people fall victim to liquid calories. Whether this is eggnog, wine, beer, hard alcohol, or sugary drinks, you should completely avoid liquid calories during the holiday season.
The best strategy is to stick with WATER and add some fruit to the water if you want to enhance the flavor. (Cranberries and a pinch of cinnamon make deliciously festive water!)
People often spend more time focusing on what they put in in their mouth than on what comes out of their mouth by means of conversation.
The key to controlling yourself during the holiday is to become distracted by something other than highly caloric items. Spend time playing games, telling stories, singing, dancing, and having fun! The more time you spend doing something outside of eating, the easier it will be to avoid another unhealthy holiday season.
Feel free to play a new family game, go on a family hike, do an art project, sing songs, dance around the house, etc.
So, it might be inevitable that you are going to eat more, but why does this mean that you are going to move less? Outside of overconsumption during the holidays, people also tend to skip their daily fitness routine. There is no reason that everything needs to fall apart during the last leg of the race! We encourage you to exercise for at least 30 minutes four times each week during the holiday season.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with movement!
Some ideas include:
Have a dance competition with your family.
Cut down your own Christmas tree.
Get a partner and schedule your workouts into your calendar in permanent marker.
Park as far as possible from the mall so you have to walk.
Perform 5 minute interval exercises (push-ups, jumping jacks, running place, crunches, etc.)
Walk at a steady pace whenever shopping.
Play games with the kids in your family because they are usually filled with energy.
Wear a pedometer (or download a smartphone app) and try to walk 10,000 steps each day.
Sign up for a holiday race.
Don’t forget to JUST BREATHE! Close your eyes, take several deep breaths and relax. I am telling you - this will TRANSFORM your day if you make it a ritual.
Also keep in mind that you can take 1-5 minute long relaxation breaks to calm yourself down at any point during the day. A few moments of conscious, slow breathing can help you when you’re feeling frustrated during the holiday season and beyond.
Calmness and Happiness in Giving
One of the best ways to stay calm, content, and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, colleagues, and friends. This does not mean you need to spend a ton of money or do outlandish things, but the act of giving is the most rewarding experience you can create for yourself. Giving can include:
Giving your time.
Giving a small gift.
Writing a note.
You can define generosity however it is best for you, but during this holiday season, make a commitment to experience the gift of helping the people you care about most. This is the ultimate solution to creating a stress-free holiday!
As Anne Frank so eloquently said, “No-one has ever become poor by giving.”
I really want to empower you to take action this year because you deserve to THRIVE. Taking control of your food, movement, and stress is within reach and the ideas I just discussed will help guide you during this time of year.
Yes, the holidays will be stressful.
Yes, you will be exposed to tons of food.
Yes, you might need to spend time with people you do not enjoy.
Yes, travel will be exhausting.
But this year will be different because you are prepared to put your health first. Prove to yourself you CAN DO IT and watch what happens to all of the goals you set in your life. I know you have what it takes to make this holiday season different and I am excited to be part of this experience with you! I hope you’re feeling motivated, inspired, informed, and not too overwhelmed.
Positive, proactive feelings of motivation and inspiration will serve as the energy you need to propel forward, take on these healthy holiday habits, and dramatically improve your quality of life.
Once again, if you ever need any additional guidance or support, don’t hesitate to reach out!
I am deeply passionate about helping people become the very best versions of themselves. I want to extend my most sincere appreciation and gratitude towards those of you who took the time to read this article and remember if you want more you can sign up for some more tips and healthy recipes here.
Helping people achieve and maintain health during the holiday season is very near and dear to my heart and it was nothing short of an honor to be able to spend this time with you.
If you need any additional information, help, or questions answered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much.
I will always be here to support you!!!
If you want more healthy tips you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/drcorinneweaver. Like and comment on my channel so I will know what tips and topics you want to know about. I am forming a community of people who want to take action in their own health with my social media channels and I want to know what health topics you want to hear.
I hope my column speaks to you and you can wake up each morning with a purpose. What I do every day is a calling, and I give God the glory for allowing His gifts to work through me. I do believe in miracles, because I get to see them every day! For more information you can go to www.nomoremedsmovement.com and sign up for my closed Facebook group #NoMoreMeds-Community for more healthy tips.
Dr. Corinne Weaver
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was recently named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.