Can you believe that the holidays are already here again? For many of us this is the busiest time of year. Even though we take time off to be with family we always fill it up very quickly by traveling and eating tons of food. It’s this time of year in particular that we need to be able to tap into our zen no matter what! Re-connecting to gratitude and mindfulness during Thanksgiving weekend will help you return to work feeling happy, health and re-charged versus depleted, check out these tips to get you through the whole weekend and still feel positive and healthy.
Whether you’re planning to drive or fly this Thanksgiving, travel takes a toll on our nerves and bodies. When traveling, it’s important to keep the central nervous system from becoming overly taxed, maintaining normal habits and making as many healthy choices as possible. So how do you do this? First and foremost, try a new way of thinking about time off and travel. For most of us, myself included, it’s really easy to treat all time off as separate from our real lives. This kind of thinking can cause changes in mental and physical health. Stay hydrated while in transit! You may notice that you’re drinking less water when you’re out of your normal routine and hydration is key to keeping your body running properly. If you have a meditation practice continue to do it, even for a shorter period, this will allow you to go with the flow, stay present and maximize time with those you love.
Mind-body tip: Attempt to get at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day, keep taking supplements that you routinely take and avoid excessive alcohol and sugar consumption just because it’s everywhere!
Everyone has that one family member, the one that you know will ask you the same questions or make you question your lifestyle, significant other, job choice, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Staying sane around family may actually be the most trying health challenge that we face this time of year, making stress levels rise. For family gatherings, go in with an open mind, avoid coming to conclusions or making assumptions about what may happen. Be open to change and embrace each conversation as an opportunity to gain more insight into someone’s life. Be grateful that you get this time to spend with family and always remember that the most important thing, especially during Thanksgiving, is the time that we all get to share with one another. If you need time away take it! Go read a book, visit a quiet place or take a walk and find solace for a minute before returning to your family.
Mind-body tip: Mentally prepare yourself by planning accommodations accordingly, if you need extra space (raises hand) book an Airbnb or hotel room nearby.
As a health coach, this one is number one for me and those that I coach. Food and mood are inter-connected and understanding the balance can really help during times of stress, travel and turmoil. This Thanksgiving, try to find a balance of 80% healthy food and 20% everything else. I know this isn’t always easy, most families have special rituals around the holidays that are really important to our identities and help connect us. However, keeping up these traditions is awesome, but maybe adding in a few healthier traditions isn’t such a bad idea either. Building new and lasting traditions, while keeping some of the old, is an awesome way to bring in more healthy practices and really look forward to holidays.
Mind-body tip: Replace dishes heavy in sugar and processed ingredients with more wholesome wholefoods is a trend worth trying out. This will keep your sugar levels balanced
Believe it or not, staying sane and present is possible at the holidays. Spending time with family can be completely amazing if you’re ready for it and open to all of the great relationships, both new and old, that you’ll be strengthening. Don’t forget to pack your Spire and an open mind for a truly awesome Thanksgiving. Have helpful holiday tips? Please share in the comments!