Falalalala! Holiday stress and chaos-what’s a girl to do?!
I think the holiday season is so stressful because of the high expectations we place on ourselves for what it “should” be. I wonder if it is because so many of us are striving for the “picture-perfect Christmas”-the Christmas Martha Stewart creates, the one you remembered as a child and/or the one you create in your imagination. To all of this there is the added anxiety of trying to resist unhealthy food choices offered during the holidays and the prospect of New Year’s Resolutions. Aargh! Now wonder we are STRESSED!!
My tips for dealing with holiday stress and the “gift” of an auto-immune disease are as simple as ABC:
1.Awareness-be attentive to the way you are feeling throughout this season. Notice where you stress collects in your body, notice what it does to your energy levels and pay attention to the way you feel physically and emotionally. So many times we are so busy doing we forget to be. Check in with yourself more frequently to keep you stress and energy levels sane.
2. Breathe-so simple yet so often forgotten. Breathing deep into your belly triggers your parasympathetic nervous system-the system that “rests & digests.” Focusing on your breath helps you to have a stable center while chaos happens around you. Allowing your body to relax and properly digest the food your are taking in can keep your blood sugars level and the nutrients you take in to be used by your body properly.
3. Choose-you have options. Choose your attitude-instead of being stressed-be seasonal! Just by choosing a different word to describe that way you are feeling can help you feel better about the situation. Choose to eat a healthy snack before going to parties to help with the temptation of the not-so-healthy offerings. Choose you!
Bonus Tip: Of course, Try Yoga! Don’t let the common misconception (yoga is for the young, flexible and skinny) keep you from trying it. There are many types of yoga-even some done while sitting in a chair!
It is crucial we watch the levels of stress we allow our bodies to experience-especially those of us with an auto-immune disease. It is so easy to allow ourselves to get sucked in, indulge and/or let go during this season telling ourselves we will pick up after the New Year. Wait! All you have is this moment, the present, right now. Those of us with auto-immune disease have this staring us in the face everyday (and many times a day). Who knows what tomorrow brings. Make the best choices you can make for yourself right now, today. Don’t wait. You are worth every healthy sacrifice you make and your loves ones are worth it too.
At every moment, our bodies are continually responding to the messages from our minds. So what messages is your mind giving your body?- Margo Adair
So, cultivate awareness, breath and choose-your health depends on it!
A resource for breathing exercises: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html