10 Holiday Wellness and Self-Care Tips to Help You Through the Season

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By Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS

For many of people this week marks the beginning of a very active, exciting season. Unfortunately, in addition to all the fun and joy stress levels also tend to rise.   That makes this a perfect time to Pause for Wellness™!

As people prepare to travel, cook, and spend time with relatives, they often neglect their personal wellness.  This can lead to increased stress or even illness.  Taking care of yourself, especially during busy times, is very important. After all, you can’t give from an empty cup.  Practicing self-care will make it easier to do all those wonderful things you have planned.

Self-care involves paying attention to more than just how much you eat or exercise.  It also requires paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, expectations, and interactions. Remember: optimal health means functioning at your best in all areas of your life, not just in your body.

Putting your health and wellbeing on your “to do” list doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. You can boost personal wellness by consistently doing simple things.   Here are some quick and easy wellness tips to use during the holiday season.

  1. Calm your mind and body by taking a few deep, centering breaths throughout the day.
  2. Have realistic expectations for yourself and for others.
  3. Don’t beat up on yourself if you eat something that isn’t very healthy.  Forgive yourself, say good-bye to guilt, and make a better choice next time.
  4. Simplify things.  The sun will come up tomorrow if you make one less dish, buy fewer presents, or use a mix instead of making something from scratch.
  5. Prioritize getting enough sleep.  Being well rested is a necessity not a luxury, especially during stressful times.  It will help you feel more energetic and help your immune system stay strong.
  6. Create new, self-supportive traditions.  For example, if you don’t feel like cooking or hosting a big dinner, make reservations at your favorite restaurant instead.
  7. Be prepared: If you know there is a strong possibility that you will have to interact with someone who is a bit challenging for you to deal with, have a strategy for maintaining healthy interactions, or for keeping a health distance.
  8. Decide what this season means for you. If you start to feel stressed, focus on what’s important.
  9. Keep  easy, healthy stress management tools nearby. Some ideas:
    1. A journal so you can write about your thoughts and feelings.
    2. Your favorite music so you can dance or sing to work off tension.
    3. Some funny cartoons.  Laughter really is great medicine.
  10. Take a quiet walk.

Be well,

Dr. Donna

© 2010 Donna Hamilton, MD

Holistic Wellness Speaker Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS supports people in becoming optimally healthy.  She passionately teaches people what being healthy really means and provides practical tools and strategies to address the five key areas affecting health.  Dr. Hamilton-a former board certified pediatrician-is Chief Wellness Officer and owner of Manifest Excellence, LLC.  She specializes in holistic wellness promotion and speaks nationally on this topic.  Dr. Hamilton teaches a comprehensive approach to health and wellness that addresses mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing

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