Friday, December 3, 2010

Thinking Your Way To Healthy

Tis the season to be stressy! Between shopping, planning, travel, cooking, baking, house guests, parties and spreading cheer - the holidays add a full-time job on top of your already regularly scheduled life. It can be overwhelming and can oftentimes lead to stress that can even manifest into depression. It is for this reason that it is of extreme importance that we all pay extra special attention to our health during this time.

While food, drink and all that we consume during the holiday does play a vital role in how we feel (and often celebrate), we too often forget about the power of thought. It is incredibly important that you are of sound mind if you wish to maintain health.
“The human mind can be trained to play an important part both in preventing disease and in overcoming it when it occurs.”The Anatomy of Illness by Norman Cousins

So our jobs this holiday season is to do all we can to prevent sickness. As we search for sustenance in the form of foods we consume, we must also remember to sustain our spirit. Here is a brief prescription for wellness of mind:
    Clearing your mind is one way of leaving space for self-love to enter.
  • Take some time each day to stop, clear your mind and breathe deeply. You can do this when you wake up, when you are standing on line in a store, a minute or two before you begin your blog reading - whenever you can fit it in. This is YOU time. Even if you do this for two to three minutes per day, it is probably more YOU time that you would normally allow yourself during the holidays.
  •  Start thinking out of the box, or, perhaps I should say out of your body. According to a blog on the "Self-Love diet" talking about your body in the third person can do wonders for your self esteem and body awareness. She writes:
"… you are not your body. Your body is the package that carries the you around. Instead of calling it “me” or “my”, try referring to your body as “the body”, “these feet”, “this brain”, etc.... It sounds crazy, but my perspective started to change. I stopped feeling self-conscious about my weight; in fact, I stopped feeling self-conscious about all the physical quirks that I notice."
It is often easy for us to see when others have over reached themselves, Why not turn that skill on ourselves this season by thinking in the third person?
  •  Ready yourself for what is to come and rather than brace yourself for it - embrace it.  George Bernard Shaw said, "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." Whether it is the dreaded trip to Aunt Millie's house with the smelly dog and even smellier holiday meal, your out of control nephew unable to behave for more than five minutes straight, a sneer from your in laws about your choice of gift that will somehow never be perfect or the house guests from hell, remember that family is an adventure. Dance with the skeletons, laugh with the nay-sayers, bring an air freshener to Aunt Millie's, have a fit with your nephew, engage the in-laaws in a in-depth conversation about the gift you just purchased them and play continuous pranks on the heinous house guests. Have fun, they all will too, when everyone sees you are stress-free, in good spirits and just trying to spread some happiness.
Your crib notes: breathe deeply, think out-of-body and seek joy in the insanity. Easy as pie.
HEY! watch that pie! You don't want to destroy all your happy thoughts with unhappy eating! Well... I'll let you off the hook this time. That's a chat for another post.

Share YOUR thoughts:
How do you keep your sanity during the holiday season?
What are your techniques for a healthy holiday?

*Artistic credit goes to Nicole Rivera, who created both images using the Drawing Online site. *

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