Have you started yet? You know, have you started the process of telling yourself that this holiday season you can handle more than you really can? I used to be so good at doing that. I thought I was the holiday super woman so I’d be running around doing all kinds of activities, eating all kinds of foods that weren’t good for me, and staying up late getting ready for various festivities with family and friends. I spent so much time getting ready—including buying and wrapping “presents,” it was a wonder I ever actually enjoyed the season with my loved ones. I didn’t create much time to just enjoy them and receive the gifts of their “presence.”
When I was much younger, I seemed to be able to power through even if I had depleted myself to the point of catching a cold, having headaches or feeling run-down. But I’m not in my twenties anymore and I don’t find it so easy to just power my way through. Besides, I’d rather have some energy for actually enjoying the people I love and care about.
Holidays have been a huge temptation to push the edges and tell myself I’ll make up for it later. At this year’s Thanksgiving dinner I really had to remind myself over and over about how good my body was going to feel because I chose not to eat that piece of processed-sugar-laden piece of cherry pie. I’m in the middle of cleansing my body, so sugary foods and alcohol were not going to help me clear out toxins. I also know that too much sugar in my diet compromises my immune system. Too many sweets stress the body, so I said, “No thank you,” repeatedly.
I’m in the process of healing. I could choose my old life-style if I wanted to, but I’d rather live longer and healthier. Living without stress is a choice worth making. That means I make choices that I know reduce my stress levels and increase my potential for healing. This includes choosing to spend time with people and circumstances where I am more inclined to enjoy myself and less inclined to be emotionally stressed.
There are studies and good information available demonstrating that stress slows down our healing. For example stress can slow down the healing of wounds (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990728073743.htm ) and compromise the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infectious illness (http://www.stressaffect.com/how-does-stress-affect-the-immune-system.html). If by body is already challenged, it doesn’t make sense to make it more susceptible, especially now that I know approximately 70% of all illnesses and disease are attributed to stress.
So, while the holidays can be a temptation to interrupt your normal self-healing program, perhaps you would rather join me in affirming and taking action for wellness. One of the best ways you can do this is to identify any areas in your life in which you tend to feel stressed emotionally and physically during the holidays. Once identified, consider ways you can transform them to create greater relaxation and joy instead.
This year, you might want to spend a little less time around people that make you feel stressed, or decide to let their perspectives about life roll of your back. You might want to reduce the number of activities you are involved in, create new menus that promote healthier eating and establish new holiday customs that emphasize relaxation and fun with the people you care about.
For some playful ideas about reducing stress and promoting your healing during the holiday season, you might want to listen to my recent radio interview with Krystalya Marie’, “De-stressing and Healing Through the Holidays”: http://sqr.fm/events/event/show?id=2669798%3AEvent%3A13706
Remember, this year, consider committing to only those activities and customs that support you in your wellness and let the rest go. You deserve peace, relaxation, and healing as you enter into this holiday season. After all, isn’t your presence and health the greatest gifts your loved ones would want you to receive?
I enjoy the Holidays a lot more since I have stopped shopping at this season. I concentrate on just being with friends. I went to a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner with healthy foods that met my dietary needs and I felt fabulous the next day. Misa, this is a great reminder about taking care of yourself during this time and not getting caught up in the rush.
Holidays really are more enjoyable when we take care of ourselves. I’m so glad that you are sharing your experience about Thanksgiving! It’s amazing how easy it is once you make the commitment to yourself.
Viviana Clark says
yes stress has been a big thing in my life. I am calmer now, forced to be, but still ill with severe fibromyalgia/me/chronic fatigue. There is nothing I have not tried. Including accepting the illness, myself, the karmic destiny. Forgiving everything and everyone. tried every method of healing. it's been 10 years and no results. this illness gives you one good day when you feel almost normal and 3 bad ones when you can't get up from the bed. I never know how I am going to be from one moment to the next. pain is sometimes unbereable,. I am spiritual, I meditate. I do follow what you say and everything makes sense, but the pain continues. I relax into it but it is always there. I have stopped working, I don't have a relationship, nothing should stress me now.
My heart is with you. I commend you for staying with it. Fibromyalgia is a mystery yet to be fully uncovered. The one person I know making a good recovery from it has done a great deal of cleansing and had already transformed the underlying emotional issue I believe may be at the root. Please consider getting on the mailing list and watching. I meditated with Fibromyalgia recently and received some guidance from Spirit I will gladly share here at the blog. In my experience, the real root of stress is internal rather than external. They are the pressures and beliefs we place on ourselves. You might want to check out my free report: Beating the Odds: 10 Beliefs That Can Short Circuit Your Healing to see if any of them provide some insight to any internal stress. Secondly, with tenacious conditions, I have discovered in my own process and in talking with others (and you may have too) that for conditions that do not seem to resolve, regular cleanses for blood, kidneys, liver and intestines, plus dramatic changes in diets are simply musts. Here is the link to the report, and do let me know if it helps you uncover something: http://selfempoweredhealthseminar.com/
Thank you Misa for such good advice.
Truly my pleasure. Hope you have a fabulous and meaningful Holiday Season!
you have just reminded me of how much stress can and does affect us physically. usually, after feeling overwhelmed i can feel a bit under the weather and this post has reminded me to notice when i feel stress and reduce it as much as i can,
Eleanor, I'm so glad the article proved to be a helpful reminder. I believe you have a clear healing perspective—catching it as soon as the stress arises and making changes immediately. Thank you for sharing you insight.