Written by: Sarah Cawley, PA-C, IFMCP, Co-Founder of Practical Healing
If you know me well, you know I am a big fan of Christmas. It’s my absolute favorite holiday. I love making memories with my family, cooking our traditional delicious meals, and watching people open their gifts. The prep work however, can certainly be challenging. As a mom, we are usually the ones responsible for making the “magic” and pulling off the big holiday gatherings. The decorating, the shopping, the endless lists and planning can lead to feeling pretty burned out by the time Christmas gets here. Not to mention there are a few holiday treats and beverages (eggnog anyone??) that I choose to consume because it’s a celebration, and food is deeply connected to our sense of community during any holiday, but especially Christmas!
With that in mind, I wanted to share a few things that I do to help combat the challenging parts of the holiday season.
- Sleep. If nothing else, make this a priority! Your immune system relies on it, and it’s critically important to support your energy, stress levels, and hormonal balance. Wrapping presents isn’t nearly as frustrating when I’ve had a full night’s sleep!
- Try to make exercise a part of the daily routine. Even if it’s 15 minutes of walking, especially outside, it helps to reset my mind, balance my blood sugar, and gives me a boost of energy.
- Make your nutrition practical. Will I eat a slice of Christmas cake? Absolutely. But knowing that I plan to eat that, I make sure the rest of my nutrition that day is supporting my body’s needs- extra veggies and a scoop of protein powder in a smoothie is a great way to get that in.
- Pause, and be mindful. Just 5 minutes of quiet with a cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning in front of the twinkling Christmas lights on the tree, reflecting on the things I am grateful for keeps me anchored to the entire reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Once all the presents are unwrapped, the food is cooked, and the day winds down, I always feel a little sad that it’s all over! Looking forward to a New Year and a fresh start always helps to bring me back to a healthy headspace. Making a list of the things I would like to accomplish in the New Year gives me a head start on planning and keeps me moving forward. January brings with it an opportunity to make changes, leave something behind, and continue to work on the things I have been given in this life to accomplish. Keeping myself healthy helps me to do all of that with intention, energy, and focus.
I also don’t want to leave out those of you for whom surviving the holiday feels quite literal. Christmas is a difficult time of year if you have experienced family challenges, or lost loved ones. Grief and loss, even if years old, have a way of becoming fresh during the holidays. Take extra care, and know that our entire Practical Healing team is here to support you however we can.
Our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season, and prosperous New Year,
Sarah Cawley and the Practical Healing Team