With emotions running high during the holidays, try packing a "holiday toolkit" to help you have a happy and healthy holiday season.
5 Essentials to Pack in Your Holiday Toolkit
1. Patience. As you go through your days, remember that everyone is in a hurry, everyone has things to get done and no one is more important than anyone else. So, try to breathe. Slow down. Be kind. And remember, everyone is just doing the best they can.
2. Assume Good Intentions. This helps you to practice #1. Most people operate with good intentions. Do people at times say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, cut you off in traffic or step on your toes? Yup. But, if you operate from the stand point that someone had good intentions, you'll be more likely to let it go and lessen the impact it may have on your day. You'll also have less stress, more forgiveness and more patience.
3. Sneakers. To boost your mood, health and immunity, pack your sneakers and grab a rejuvenating walk or run each day. Even a 10 minute workout in your living room is a great boost to the system and helps you pack items #1 and #2.
4. Fruits and Veggies. During the holidays, there is an increase in sweets, treats, heavy meals and alcohol which can all take a toll on our bodies and seriously impact our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Be sure to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day to help your body get needed vitamins, minerals and fiber. An added bonus is that you'll probably have a few less treats too.
5. Rest. Be sure to find a little time to rest, appreciate the moment and renew yourself for the upcoming year.
These are just 5 essentials for your holiday toolkit but I'm sure you have ideas too. The one thing I recommend not packing is the idea of perfection. Trying to make things perfect is a great way to feel stressed. Nothing needs to be perfect - not a holiday, not a gift and most certainly not a relationship. Release the idea of perfection and you'll instantly feel lighter and happier.
One last tip for the holidays, if you live in an area of the country with a possibility of snow, be cautious when shoveling. Shoveling is one of the most cardio intensive exercises and when combined with the artery constricting effects of the cold weather, the result can be tragic. If you're not in shape, please hire someone, ask a neighbor or just let it melt. If you think you're up for it, go slow and consider using a heart rate monitor or app on your phone to make sure your heart rate is in check. We want the holidays to be healthy and happy!
Sending wishes for a holiday season filled with cheer and a year filled with peace and good health!