Healthfully Making it Through the Holidays

As the holiday season is upon us, there’s a buzz in the air. Whether you celebrate one holiday or another – or don’t celebrate at all – the energy in the air this time of year still has its affect on all of us. From extra sweets lying around the office, to the kids pleading for a certain new toy, to the overplayed Christmas music and the heightened emotions that come with this time of year – it’s a lot to juggle, especially for all of you busy moms.

So, to make it easy on you, here’s my top 5 tips on surviving this season in one-happy-together-life-is-grand piece.

1. Keep it simple. Simple may seem impossible to you, but it doesn’t have to be. When there is a lot going on, it’s important to remind yourself that you don’t have to get it all done, that you always get done what needs to be done – so take it easy on yourself and let go of rigidity. By letting go some, your stress levels will immediately decrease and you will feel better. Let the laundry pile up a bit more, don’t worry so much about keeping things uber organized. Rather, focus on what’s important – family, friends, happiness and health.

2. Pass on the sweets. Just say no to sugar! Your health (and your waistline) will thank you tons. And, you’ll have more energy to make it through this busy time of year. The best way to do this is to keep sweets out of the house. Your entire family will benefit from this easy task. For those of you with the insurmountable sweet tooth, keep your sweets to one small “treat” per day. The best treat is a square of organic dark chocolate. Remember, the best way to keep your sweet tooth at bay is to be sure you are eating some form of protein every 2-3 hours.

3. Focus on appreciation. This can’t be emphasized enough. Especially if you are one who tends to get sad or depressed this time of year. Focusing – each day – on a few things that you appreciate in your life will make a tremendous influence on your overall emotional state. The more you appreciate all the good in your life, the more good you will begin to see. I recommend taking a few minutes each morning to reflect on 3 things you appreciate. They can be as simple as “I appreciate how good my breakfast was” to deeper appreciation such as, “I appreciate all the love I have for my children.” Another great way to practice this is to share a daily appreciation with your partner or a close friend – not only will this lift both your spirits, but it will bring more love and closeness to your relationship.

4. Keep tradition going. A lot of families have certain traditions that they practice this time of year – whether it’s a family party or sending holiday cards or volunteering your time to those in need. Keep it up. Share these traditions with your children. Sharing special traditions tightens family ties and provides a sense of comfort and belonging to your children. What if you don’t have any family traditions? Start some –  start sending holiday cards or, better yet, get the whole family to a soup kitchen for a day and spread some love. The more love you give, the more you get in return.

5. Don’t skip on exercise. Of course, this time of year, this is easier said than done. But try, try, try. Even if it’s getting out for only a 20-minute walk, or taking the extra time to get to the gym for a quick workout or taking the stairs instead of the elevator – your body and your health and your state of mind will benefit. Taking some time for you and for your body each and every day will not only be good for you, but your whole family will benefit because you will feel calmer and clearer and happier. Exercise is often the key to a busy mom’s sense of peace and calm.

All in all, remember to just keep it simple and be easy on yourself. And, don’t worry so much! You always get everything done that needs to get done. So, take a deep breath and let go a little.

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Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and book author Aimee E. Raupp is a women’s health and fertility expert. Her growing practice focuses on improving health and beauty, preventing disease and increasing fertility among women whose health and wellness are challenged by the demands, stressors and imbalances of Western culture. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @aimeeraupp.

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