Welcome to the holiday whirlwind! I’m already feeling like I need a weekend yoga retreat to get back on track—too much eating, not enough moving, not enough sitting still—and the full-court holiday press has even begun yet.
With all the hubbub of the season, you likely won’t have many opportunities to fully immerse yourself in whatever your self-care practice is, whether it’s hitting the gym, going for walks, meditating, or getting to yoga class. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego your health- and sanity-promoting activities altogether. To get the inspiration you need to stay on your particular path, just look to the squirrel.
There is no such thing as a proper meal for squirrels during the wintertime. They get by on eating a teeny little nut here and there. They are a great inspiration for how to take care of yourself during the holidays—take whatever little tidbits you can find and trust that they will carry you through until you’ve got the opportunity to gorge on long, luxurious sessions of self-care again.
It’s all too tempting to have an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to taking care of yourself. One missed day of your healthy endeavors makes it that much more likely that you’ll skip them the next day and the next day and the next. Avoid the tendency to think “There’s no hope for staying healthy now – pass the pie. I’ll deal with the fallout in January.” Because even little bits of sanity-saving self-care can help you make wiser decisions, meaning you’ll be more apt to gain two pounds instead of ten, for example.
On those days life unexpectedly eats in to your self-care time, find ways to squirrel little pieces of your practice away – five deep breaths before you get out of the car to come inside, a 10-minute walk before you eat lunch, one delicious restorative stretch in bed before you turn out the light. Granted, these little amounts aren’t enough to move your practice forward, but think of them as a bookmark—they’ll hold your place for you and keep you from having to backtrack when you are ready to re-dedicate yourself to your taking excellent care of yourself again. (I also wrote about this “placeholder” phenomenon earlier in the summer in the Vegimental titled “Keeping the Flame Alive.”)
What’s your holiday sanity plan?
Share your tips by leaving a comment, and if I publish yours in the next newsletter, you will win such a treat. Fellow MsMindbody.com reader, Valerie Grandury, is the founder of Odacite, an organic skincare company that makes all its products to order so they are as fresh as they can possibly be. And she’s giving this week’s winner a full regimen of anti-aging skin care products (known as Elegance). It’s an over $400 retail value. So, start sharing your tips already! You could win a supremely yummy holiday gift for yourself.
Congrats to Joselle!
She shared her tip for how she gets her digestion going each morning, and she won a copy of the DVD Barefoot Cardio, the new fitness DVD from mind-body fitness maven Ellen Barrett. Here’s her tip:
“Nothing has better clarified the connection between movement and having a movement than living with my newly adopted dog, Benji. After my morning cup of tea, I take him for a long, vigorous walk and that gets him to relieve himself quickly and smoothly. By the time we return home, it’s my turn to go! Regular walking keeps me regular.”
Give the people you love a chill pill
My book, The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide, makes a great gift—it’s cute, cheap, and oh-so-helpful–and I’m selling signed copies here. With natural solutions to 77 modern stressful situations, the book gives people of all ages and fitness levels a wide range of self-care tools they can use to reduce stress—even in the midst of the messiest, most million-mile-an-hour day. Buy a bunch and they get even cheaper!
Take care and keep breathing,