“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” or at least that is what we are told; but with Christmas fast approaching and the Holiday season already in full swing these words may be hard to believe. For many of us, okay most of us, the word wonderful may be overshadowed by the word stressful. After all, there is the pressure of buying the perfect gift for loved ones, and although Christmas is just a handful of days away many of us are still scrambling at the last minute. Work seems to be crazy as another year’s end quickly approaches. The stores are always overly crowded with people hoping to grab the same item that you are looking for. Last, but certainly not least, for those of us trying to adapt to a healthy lifestyle, the holiday parties and Christmas cookies could appear to be nothing more than roadblocks on our path to the new and healthier you. It truly is “wonderful” right? Maybe not so much? I do, however, hope to instill some small pieces of advice to lighten the load of the so imminent stresses of the season.
In regards to the gifts, I think it is easy to give someone the latest gadget or toy that they want, use and eventually get tired of. How great would it be if we could all take a step back and approach gift buying with the hopes of enriching someone’s life in the long run. It could be something educational, like a book to improve mental well being, perhaps a meaningful picture in a frame to support spiritual wellness, or even something like a membership to a gym which can help one’s physical lifestyle. The beauty of these gifts is that they will leave a lasting impression. While they might not have the immediate fix that the fancy gadget has, the lifelong gains will be so appreciated in the long run.
The second area I wish to give advice on is the health side of it all. Let’s be real, the temptations are everywhere! From all the holiday work parties, ugly sweater parties, and Christmas Day with the family, there is no avoiding sweets. Now, there are obvious healthier alternatives to try and it is easy to say stick to the vegetable tray and stay away from the cookies. Again though, let’s be real here, it is impossible to avoid eating sweets entirely. The best advice I can give you and this was given to me at a very young age and has stuck with me through the years; “ALL THINGS IN MODERATION”. If we can take that statement to heart then maybe we can avoid the need to say “I will start after New Years” and while we may not be perfect we can still enjoy a great, healthy, holiday season.
To wrap this up, I ask you to please enjoy this time of year. The stresses will come, but like always they will also go. I truly hope that you cherish the time spent with family, friends and loved ones and spend a second or two thinking about those who feel loss at this time of the year. Drop some loose change in the Salvation Army bucket, donate coats to those who need them, go driving and look at Christmas lights, and just simply appreciate all of the beauties of the season. If we can all do these simple things then maybe this really can be “The most wonderful time of the year” after all.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!