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Thrive Through the Holidays with These Tips

By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach

Even if you love the holidays and await them all year long, we can all agree there's a significant increase in stress during this season. Your schedule may be bombarded with visits from family and friends, work events, social events, and family outings, to name a few. Traffic is more hectic than usual, stores are packed, and it can be quite simple to let it send you into overwhelm. The most wonderful time of the year comes with a price that goes beyond the extra calories and frantic holiday shopping (and honestly, can we just step back from all the commercialism already?).

Let this year be different. Putting a focus on lowering stress can help you enjoy the season without the added pressure. Taking a natural approach to stress through the ancient tradition of Ayurveda might hold the key to surviving the holiday season this year and beyond. Here are some ways to make it through the New Year with naturally effective stress-busting solutions.

Try drinking hot water.

In Ayurvedic practices, hot water is recommended for digestive health. We need to pay a little extra attention to our digestive system with all the holiday meals being enjoyed. Whether you have hot water or tea, doing so 30 minutes to one hour after eating helps you balance out your indulgences.

Choose warming spices.

Maybe that slice of pumpkin pie full of nutmeg and cinnamon isn’t such a bad idea. As it turns out, eating more warming spices like those plus cloves, ginger, cardamom, and turmeric help in keeping balanced. They’re great for restoring a good mood and can help your joint pains feel better too.

Focus on your blessings rather than nitpicking over calories.

Should you eat enough calories for one week in one day? Probably not, but focusing more on the gratitude of being present with those you love is more important. With great conversations over your meal, focus on those words, and savor every bite. By eating slowly and treasuring the meal, you’ll naturally feel fuller and won’t have room to overdo it. And you won’t spoil the moment by obsessing over calories. Focus on what is truly important – making great memories with family and friends!

Practice self-care with Ayurvedic massage.

Using warm essential oils to give yourself a 10-minute massage will help balance your Vata. In winter, it’s especially important to do to keep the body balanced. Traditionally, this type of massage is practiced in the morning before bathing. Starting the day off with a massage sounds like a great way to bust stress, doesn't it?

Get the golden ticket to better sleep.

With all the holiday excitement, you might find it hard to sleep yourself. Try warming a cup of almond milk and adding a pinch of cardamom and turmeric. Drink this before bed and sleep should be deeply refreshing.

Take time for yoga.

Yoga opens up our pathways and complements Ayurvedic practices all in one. The best way to get rid of stress and keep health flowing through you is to have harmony in the mind and body. Put yoga classes on your gift wish list, or better yet, make it the gift you give yourself.

By turning your focus to natural ways of busting stress during the holidays, it will free up your mind to truly enjoy the season for all of its many blessings!

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