It’s Friday. Black Friday. And the question seems fitting: Do you shop till you drop? Because, if you do, you need to know that it isn’t healthy. The holidays bring added stress. That’s a given. But if you try to do too much at once … it’s a disaster just waiting to happen. Stress has a negative impact on our health. Those with a Chronic illness are even more vulnerable to its affects. So this year, treat yourself. It’s time to re-think how you handle the holiday rush …
There are ways to reduce this stress and make the holidays more enjoyable and healthier for everyone. Here are some easy tips:
- Make a to-do list. And, please, be reasonable when you do. No one person can do it all. Embrace that reality, now. Be willing to delegate tasks and errands to others.
- Stick to your budget. Nothing adds stress like excessive spending.
- Take breaks. Just a few minutes can make a big difference in how you feel and keep your stress levels in-check.
- Enjoy some exercise. A quiet walk around the block, or through a park, does wonders. It only takes a few minutes to enjoy the benefits of Tai Chi (my personal favorite), yoga, Pilates, etc. And you’ll feel better for doing it.
- Eat healthy. Skipping meals, or getting by on junk-food, isn’t helping you at all.
- Use moderation. Excessive food and/or alcohol consumption never ends well.
- Pace yourself. It isn’t necessary to do marathon shopping. You CAN go to the mall, without going in every store. It’s literally enjoyable. Sales started before Black Friday and will go all the way till December 25th. And remember, Cyber Monday is a gift — be open to it!
- Learn to say “no”. You’re only human. We all are. And we have our limits. Saying “yes” to everything will eventually lead to no joy, no time, no peace, no sanity, no strength, etc.
- Listen to your body. If you begin to feel bad, you need a break. You may even need to call your doctor. Don’t ignore symptoms — treat them!
Last, but not least, be good to yourself … mentally, emotionally and physically. We cannot put a price on ourselves, or those we love. We cannot deny the impact that each of us has on the lives of others. An old holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, explored that idea decades ago. The vintage classic A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, did too. Perhaps, in the midst of the holiday rush, you’ll watch one of them on television or DVD? Or maybe, read it instead? You can sit back in your jammies, nibble some nuts or air-popped popcorn, and soak up the lesson. Rest. Rejuvenate. The true meaning of this special season cannot be bought. It must be felt — deeply.
* Photo by Heidi Sandstrom on Unsplash