For many people, holidays are traditionally a stressful time of year. While they are joyous and filled with special moments, it is easy to let the pressure of perfection over shadow the sentiment and meaning of this time of year. Thus, it is important to take care of not only your body and physical health, but your mind and heart as well.
Take the pressure off
It seems like we all put excessive amounts of pressure on ourselves to have the perfect holiday, whether that means cooking a gourmet dinner from scratch, finding the perfect gift for everyone in our lives, or hosting 30 people for Christmas. It’s stressful! Instead of expecting yourself to do everything perfectly, give yourself permission to not be perfect. If it is hard for you to get everything exactly as you want, chances are it is hard for 95 percent of everyone else and if everything isn’t just so, you’re the only one who will notice.
Figure out what is important to you. Make a list of your holiday customs and expectations and decide what is most important, then do those to the best of your ability. For things lower on your personal list, skip them for this year, or ask someone else for whom it may be important to do themselves. If you really want to cook a gourmet meal, do that as well as you can but leave the house decorations to someone else in your family.
Everything is easier and more fun with enough sleep. Sleep is important all the time, but when things are be particularly stressful, it is even more crucial to get enough sleep. It is your body’s way of recharging and keeping your immune system strong. For many of us, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished so consider going to bed earlier to get the crucial pre-midnight hours of sleep, then get up earlier.
Everything in moderation
Holidays inevitably seem to turn into a season of excess. It is so easy to overindulge this time of year because of the parties and the dinners and the over the top consumerism. If you have a hard time saying no to the rich foods available at your holiday gatherings, try keeping it simple on nights off. Have some chicken soup and vegetables to reset your body.
If it is difficult not to go overboard when giving gifts, try giving for a cause, or volunteering. There are plenty of groups that need the gift of your time. Organizations such as Heifer International (http://www.heifer.org/) or Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/ ) offer you the option to give a philanthropic gift in someone’s name. Pick a cause that is important to your giftee and make a donation in their name.
Do more with less.
Homemade gifts, while requiring some additional organization, can make you as well as your giftee feel appreciated because of the time and effort that was put into them. Don’t forget to start them early to avoid getting overwhelmed! One great idea that our family did was make homemade vanilla. Starting it after Christmas is perfect for next year’s holiday. This one takes some time to steep, but it is well worth the minimal amount of effort.
If you don’t have time to make your own gifts, give some of our handcrafted tinctures. Here are some favorite BHP formulas to give as gifts: Rose Geranium Massage Oil (youthful skin), Holiday Bitters (digestion – good tasting), Calendula Oil (for baby bottoms), Chill Out (who doesn’t need to relax?), Mega Ginseng Plus (energy booster), Sight Saver (maturing eyes), Memory Tonic, California Poppy (for sleep), Eleutherococcus, Reishi (stamina and immunity), or Boo Boo Juice (every family needs one for day-to-day cuts and scratches). Pet Products are also popular gifts. When you purchase and use any BHP products, a little of my spirit goes home with you as well.
Ask for help
Don’t try to do everything on your own. We all have our own ideas of what makes the holidays perfect and it can be such an overwhelming feeling, wanting to make it memorable while still handling our regular responsibilities. Delegate. Ask for help. Do less. Remember to think about what is most important to you and your family.
If you do end up getting sick, BHP can help. We have options for colds and the flu. For over indulging, we can offer Holiday Bitters, No Burp, High Blood Sugar Balance and Tummy Ease. We have herbs for your kids. If you have questions about what will work for you, just ask!