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?