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How to Keep Calm and Carry On This Holiday Season

December 21, 2013

three stooges turkey edit useWritten by guest editor and milk + honey licensed massage therapist, Matt Walker

I love the holidays, but let’s face it, they can be pretty overwhelming. With the trifecta of Thanksgiving, Yuletide festivities, and New Year’s Eve in our midst, it’s inevitable that we get sucked in, overrun, depleted, lifted, and celebrated. Regardless of where you’re at in this spirited procession, you’ll want to take care of the “basics,” as in, first and foremost, take care of yourself. This also means that it’s a really good idea to keep things in perspective, and when all else fails, take refuge (or you know, a night off).

Here are some other life reminders — trust me, we all need a little call to action, and this is mine to you.

Have a self-care plan, one that embraces moderation:

  • Try hard to get in about eight hours of sleep — here’s what’s in it for you.
  • Daily movement is key. Or if an everyday schedule doesn’t work, try for 30 minutes of intense exercise a couple times a week.
  • Whole, nutritiously dense foods with a minimum of ingredients, such as vegetables and meats present the most reliable pre-prescription for health.
  • Be merry. That’s a given.
  • Always get home safely.

And when you know “moderation” might not be in the cards for your night out, be honest with yourself.

  • Know when you intend on pushing past your limits, and under which conditions.
  • Avoid sugary treats and alcohol until sundown.
  • Try to clear part of your day after the company party.
  • Carpool or take a cab home on the nights you plan on over-indulging.

We can all lose a grip on things, especially when the holiday energy is high. Remember: a little perspective goes a long way. No holiday — no day, for that matter — has to be perfect. So, be thankful for the time you’re spending with family and friends. Count your blessings.

When all else fails, it’s time to take refuge:

  • Move a little slower.
  • Savor quiet time.
  • Go outside.
  • Cross something off your list without doing it, and go do something for yourself instead.
  • Stay home.
  • Schedule a massage.
  • Visit a sauna.
  • Meditate.
  • Pray.

In the grand scheme of things, the holidays punctuate our daily lives, helping us to reaffirm those very things we would cherish everyday if the ideal were actual. It’s the best time of year to reflect, rejoice, and recharge for the year ahead.

Happy holidays, everyone!

 

Image: ABC Studios

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