- Don’t plan too many activities in too short a time. Vacations, even holiday vacations, are meant to be a source of renewal and regeneration. Planning too many activities in small amounts of time is a sure fire recipe for holiday stress and agitation. Take a little time out for yourself. Have a walk. Do some deep breathing.
- Keep your diet as normal as possible. One of the main focal points of holiday gatherings is food. Often times when placed in different situations for the holidays we tend to simply cave toward eating recklessly and willy-nilly, a cupcake in one hand and leg of lamb in the other. Digestive upset and unstable blood sugar levels can only contribute to stress. Keep mindful of your dietary comfort zone.
- Don’t believe the hype. Remember that the holidays aren’t about buying, selling, having and owning things. We are constantly bombarded from every conceivable direction with ads that tell us image is everything and we can’t possibly be happy unless we own certain indispensable items like high priced sports cars, watches and jewelry. Remember, a kiss begins with your lips not with Kay, so put your wallet down and pucker up. Forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday and play a nice game of Pinochle with your family instead.
- Cut your relatives some slack. Family gatherings are often hotbeds for unleashing repressed antagonism towards family and friends we haven’t seen in a long while. No body is perfect, probably, especially your family members. Try and give everyone even a little more leeway for acting a bit goofy around the holidays. Keep your awareness and attention focused firmly on ideals like acceptance and appreciation for everything that is right in your life.
- Cut yourself some slack too. As we wind down the year it is the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve learned over the past months, to forgive ourselves for any mistakes we’ve made and any perceived imperfections we still maintain. Love yourself as much as possible and you can’t help but be a joy and source of inspiration for other people. Remember that life is about journey and change. There are no permanent destinations in life so enjoy yourself wherever you are.
Terry M. Chen, Licensed Acupuncturist
Open Sky Acupuncture, Eugene OR