The holidays are here! Chicago during the holiday season has a lot to offer! Between the many ice rinks, zoo lights, Macy’s on State Street, Christkindlemarket, the Home Alone house being a quick drive up north, there are countless ways to get into the holiday spirit.
Then toss in all the holiday parties, gift shopping, cookie baking, tree decorating, and you’ve got yourself a jam-packed month. I totally understand the never-ending to-do list. As I write this, I am staring at my “gifts-to-buy” list, my “want list”, my “work to-do list”, and my “after work to-do list.” And being the Type A personality I am, I want to complete them all right this second. So how do you beat the holiday stress – and weight gain? Self-care. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself even when you have a to-do list ten pages long.
As mentioned in earlier posts, this year has been a time of learning how to take care of myself and what I need to do to feel good inside and out. Though the details may vary from person to person, I strongly believe these 5 tips can help anyone in some way.
1. Eat healthy – I’m not saying to become vegan (I mean, unless you want to, then I fully 100% support you). But rather, make smart choices. The poor eating choices affect you for multiple days after. Go ahead and enjoy that big meal, but beware of the effects a
2. Exercise – I strongly urge everyone to exercise in some way. Whether that is taking your favorite yoga class, running a holiday half marathon, or even taking a 15 minute walk around the block. Get moving! Your body will thank you!
3. Meditate – This was something that I embraced in 2016 and it has done wonders for me. There are hundreds of articles that can tell you the benefits of meditation and how it helps us become calmer, more patient humans, why people who meditate are happier, more grateful people. There are apps like Calm and Headspace, which I love and use often. Or you can just take a few minutes and sit with your eyes closed taking deep breaths. This has helped me tremendously this last year. Anytime I can overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, I can turn on a quick ten-minute meditation session and feel tons better afterwards. And the more I do it, the happier I become.
4. Say No – There are tons of things to do around this time of year, we established that already. But just because there are a billion and five things going on doesn’t mean you need to partake in all them. It is okay to say no. If there is something you just don’t feel like doing, or you’re too tired to do. Just say no, it’s okay. People will understand. Take the time to relax.
5. Relax – Take time for yourself. Relax – whatever that word means for you. Some see relaxing as sitting on the couch watching a movie, some see it as walking the dog, some see it as shutting of the cell phone and not getting notifications every minute, some get a massage, etc. Think about what relaxation means to you, and do it.
Through all the holiday parties and socializing with friends, family, and the awkward co-workers, finding the perfect gifts, wrapping said gifts, and so on... the holidays are an exciting time of year, don’t lose sight of that. Though,if you want to make it out alive (aka avoiding sickness, becoming overwhelmed, and/or becoming a Grinch), take care of yourself! I challenge you to do something solely for yourself this week/weekend!