How To Maintain Optimal Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Health During The Holidays

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Prepare thyself, because ready or not, the holiday season is indeed upon us.  

For most, this is that special time of year when — whether by conscious choice or simply due to external circumstance — we find ourselves overeating, overspending and simply overindulging in anything and everything, all in the name of celebratory merriment. When we’re not charging it on the card or spread paper thin desperately trying to fulfill all the heightened expectations this time of year presents, we find ourselves weathering an unnatural battery of social engagements and the emotionally hyper-charged land mines presented by extended family get togethers.

The result?  A massive and unnatural outpouring of energy that leaves us not just out of balance, but utterly depleted — spit out the other side physically and emotionally exhausted to the core, all too often overweight and riddled with unnecessary debt. 

Then what? We awake on New Year’s Day committed to do and be better next time — the annual renewal ritual that inevitably falls short. A slow burn leading up to next November to repeat the cycle.

The standard American approach to the holidays is unhealthy, out of balance, verging on lunacy.

Let’s have a different experience. Let’s relax. Let’s make sure we’re exercising self-care. Let’s focus on the giving part. And let’s not over extend ourselves financially, emotionally or physically so we can emerge in January not just intact but truly enriched — optimistic, feeling great and energized for all the challenges and adventures presented with the birth of a new year.

As we did last November ( RRP 60 ), this week Julie and I once again sit down to hash out all things holiday season with a focus on providing helpful, experience-based strategies to assist in managing the financial pitfalls, dietary challenges, precarious social environments and heightened emotional states presented by this unique time of year. In my experience, these are issues common to us all. And yet issues we go to great lengths to avoid dealing with internally, let alone discussing outwardly — typically out of fear, shame or simply a profound need to keep up appearances — all of which ultimately leaves us feeling alone and isolated in what for many can become a state of true emotional crisis. In truth, the exact opposite of what the holidays should be all about.

So rather than deny or repress, let’s talk about it. Let’s get it all out in the open. And let’s work on a strategy for a better, more positive and uplifting experience. On today’s agenda:

  • How to avoid spending money you don’t have;
  • How to maintain a healthy diet throughout the season;
  • How to experience gift giving with children in a different way;
  • How to navigate and avoid emotional land mines with extended family;
  • How to say “No” to certain social obligations; and
  • How to nurture and preserve your physical, emotional & spiritual well being under pressure.

Many of the topics raised and discussed in this conversation are beautifully and concretely laid out in this very helpful companion piece by Julie entitled “How To Maintain Emotional & Financial Sanity During the Holidays”- well worth checking out.

It’s about self-care people. You simply cannot expect to be able to show up, be your best self and be there for others if you are not first taking care of yourself. This is not selfish — it’s truth. And a crucial huge component of this success equation begins and ends with meditation. To learn more about Julie’s guided program discussed during the episode, click here.

In addition, we also have a few delicious plant-based recipes up on the site – healthy alternatives to the the expected standard fare. Try ‘em out, bring one or more to your next gathering and enjoy!

This Week’s Assignment: If your past experiences with the holidays have left you emotionally, physically and or financially depleted, approach this holiday season with a firm belief that you can have a better experience. Place emphasis on self-care first. Make it a top priority to do what you need to each morning to create balance for the remainder of the day — good food, meditation, exercise. Simple, right? In theory yes. But in practice it can be tricky with all the pressures the holidays bring. So put it first, and watch your experience improve — for you and everyone you care for.

Weekly Q&A: Finally, I am considering adding a second show each week (or maybe every other week) in which I engage you — the audience — more directly by answering the specific questions you want answered. So I’m going to run an experiment (a “beta test” for you techies). Send me your thoughts and questions and issues and topics — the things you would like me to address on the show — to [email protected]. I will sift through the queries, pull out a handful and put together an episode in which I address, discuss and answer what you want to hear me talk about. Deal? Deal.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this week’s offering. Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace + Plants,

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