5 Tools to Surviving the Holidays!

The holidays are a joyous time full of family, friends and loved ones. The same people that just may drive you nuts! There’s the rushing around, excessive buying, excessive eating, excessive everything!  Needless to say, things can get hectic.  So, let’s turn the volume down from 11 and simplify things… here are 5 tools you can use to recharge, revitalize and rejuvenate so you can be your best self.

Exercise! Exercise creates happy endorphins, it moves stagnate energy (Qi), assists in digestion, improves circulation and regulates hormone and brain chemistry. Go for fast walk, pull up a YouTube exercise video on your laptop, check out a local yoga or kickboxing class. OR jump online and see what gyms are nearby, most of them (like 24 hour fitness or NYSC) have a 5 day free gym pass, use the ‘rents address and you’re all set! Five glorious days of you and a kettle bell

Take a bath (and add Epsom salts)! Some people LOVE baths! I’m not one of them, but I totally understand why; dim lights, candles, hot water, maybe Spotify some Joshua Radin or just Spa Radio? You can also add some Epsom salts that you can purchase at ANY drug store; Walgreens, Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid. Don’t be shy, pour it in… at least a few cups! The Epsom salt acts as a natural detoxifier and regulates the lymph system, this is great any time but especially with the excessive drinking and eating that come with the holidays. Calgon take you away!

Meditate!  Meditation is purely a fancy word for sitting quietly, breathing deeply and clearing the mind. Many, many of us have trouble staying focused, here’s a great little helper to get a sense of how slow and deep you should be breathing. http://beamindful.com/2014/12/01/visual-breathing-exercise/ Shoot for 20 minutes, if that’s too much, shoot for 10 minutes, but certainly at least 5!

Take a nap! Who doesn’t love naps? Even if you’re not exactly tired you can just go lie down for 30 minutes, who knows maybe you’ll fall asleep and if you don’t, you can always resort to #3.

Ask yourself, “What is it that I need right now?” I’m a firm believer that everyone has the answers, sometimes these answers live deep down inside, but they are there! Just ask and maybe you’ll be surprised what comes up… maybe it’s a nap, maybe it’s one hour of “The Real Housewives” or maybe it’s a shot of wheatgrass (or whiskey!) or maybe a slice of warm apple pie. Go for it, whatever it is, just do it!

You might be thinking, “Am I being selfish?”  Nope. Think of it this way, whether you’re being selfish or selfless, it’s still all about you!  So, why not pace yourself so you can be in a better state of mind to be amazing for your family and friends. Does this make you a ‘bad’ person? Nope, not one bit, when we take care of ourselves, we are silently inspiring others to do the same. Last year, one patient who took my advice later said, “I went to take a nap and it seemed like everyone was grateful to pull back, take a break and do their own thing. It made the rest of the day smoother!”

Happy holidays everyone and may the force be with you!

Christina Martin, L.Ac.,Dipl.Ac., FABORM