Dealing With Stress Over the Holidays

16513267_sAt this busy time of year, some of you may be wondering just how you are going to survive each day.  Your children might be small, you may have many family members and friends for whom you want to buy gifts, you may have many parties to attend and of course, there are still meals to prepare and housework to be done.  And maybe you have to go to work each day right up until your festivities begin!  And you are rushing, rushing and rushing to get it all done and still make things meaningful for yourself and those you are closest to.  How do you do it all?  How do you keep your energy levels up and your focus clear?

You start the day by taking a few minutes to yourself.  You set the alarm 5-10 minutes prior to needing to get out of bed and simply lay still for those minutes, listening to the sound of your own breathing.  You use the last minute or so to determine exactly what you need to do that day.  Do you really need to cook a nice dinner tonight or can you open up a can of Eden Organic baked beans and boil some turkey dogs for the kids and make sandwiches for you and your spouse?  Do you really need to get one more present for your aunt?  Isn’t it the gesture that matters far more than the monetary value of each gift?  Establish what must be done on this particular day.  Then factor in some time to go for a walk or exercise, in the way you desire, so that your body has a way to let off steam and re-energize.  Just a 20-minute walk will do and wouldn’t it be great if you could listen to your ipod, while you do it or see if that neighbour of yours is free to join you?

You hop out of bed and head to the kitchen to make yourself a green drink.  You may decide to use a pre-made one such as Greens Plus or Nu-Greens or make one yourself.  So you get any green fruits or vegetables that you have on hand (i.e. avocado, green beans, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini), throw them into your blender, along with a banana or apple for some sweetness and then add your favourite kind of milk (preferably rice, quinoa, hemp or almond milk).  Or if you really don’t have time to do that, make yourself a green tea or pick one up at your local coffee shop to give yourself that natural boost that may have been needed when you were unable to “hop” out of bed earlier!  You can have this green drink or green tea at any time of day for a pick-me-up.  Now if you have time to make yourself breakfast, even better!  And you may need to make your children breakfast.  I always suggest a protein source at breakfast (i.e. eggs, turkey bacon, ground nuts or seeds on cereal) for adults and children alike.

Two to three hours later, it is time to refuel again!  Another protein source is needed to regulate your blood sugar and maintain your focus.  So, this might be a good time to have almond butter or organic peanut butter on a spelt bagel.  And every two to three hours until 7 or 8 at night, you need to refuel again.

“Really?” You are asking. “There is no way I have time for that!”  Well, let’s face it, you may want to skip a meal at this time of year so I might as well make a suggestion as to how you can skip a meal in a healthy way.  Sun Warrior makes a delicious, all natural protein powder from brown rice powder that comes in vanilla or chocolate and this makes for an excellent meal replacement.  Please don’t ever let me find a can of Ensure in your cupboard!

In the middle of each afternoon, our body temperature declines and we actually become a little colder and maybe a little more tired than we are at other times in the day.  This is when so many of us reach for the sugar that our bodies know will temporarily give us a burst of energy.  What happens when we make this choice however is that our blood sugar spikes and then drops to an even lower point than it was before we had the treat and we are lacking even more energy than if we had not eaten at all.  Reach for a protein source or something green instead and your craving will likely go away!  L’glutamine is a wonderful supplement for helping us eliminate our cravings.  Try taking it every day and see if your cravings diminish if not, disappear.

Maybe in the middle of the afternoon, you can close your eyes and breathe for another 5-10 minutes, listening to the sound of your own breathing.  We think we cannot take the time to do such a thing but in fact, when we do take the time to decompress, we are so much more productive for the rest of the day!

So, I think you are getting the idea…. it’s called finding the balance even when your world is filled with chaos.  It’s eating small meals or drinking small meals often (remembering to have protein sources and water).  It’s exercising for small blocks of time.  It’s closing your eyes and listening to your own breath.  Those are the steps you can to take in order to get everything that you want done before and during the holidays.

Most importantly, remember this.  You are enough.  You are a beautiful person with a special place in this world.  Even if you don’t accomplish everything on your list, your health and well-being is far more important than crossing another item off your list.  Make this the year that you decide to do things differently.  You are worth it.

I’d love your feedback! Let me know how you de-stress during the holiday season. Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

Happy Holidays!

Meredith

6 thoughts on “Dealing With Stress Over the Holidays

  1. Great article, Meredith! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and really get a lot out of what you write. Thanks for taking the time to share so many good tips and useful information with everyone. I actually posted a link to your article about feeding babies on my blog, because I found it very helpful. I really love your focus on health and Wellness from a more holistic point of view. Keep up the good work and a Happy New Year to you!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write! I see that you too have a blog. How old is your daughter? Are there any questions that you would like me to address for you? Or any particular subject you would like to see covered in a future blog post? Wishing you a Delicious New Year!

      Meredith

  2. Hi again! Thanks for responding back. 🙂 My daughter Ava will be a year old on the 19th of this month. I find your posts about kids very interesting and would love to hear if you have any particular info/tips on teaching them healthy eating habits from a young age. I thought the post you wrote about having treat days made a lot of sense and I’d like to implemant that as Ava grows older. I’m finding it hard to get really nutritious food for her that isn’t filled with sugar and preservatives. A lot of the well known baby food brands seem to hold very little nutritional value when you actually look at the labels more closely. Now that my daughter is almost one, are there any foods you’d recommend as being extra important nutrition wise? I haven’t really started her on meat but probably should soon. What would you start with in regards to that? Thanks for reading! 🙂

    • I love your daughter’s name! I have a whole DVD on this topic that you are interested in. It’s called First Foods For Baby and can be purchased from my site but let me give some ideas. In terms of meat, turkey, chicken and fish are the easiest-to-digest meats so I recommend starting with those. Of course, getting the cleanest sources of those meats would be ideal rather than just getting them at a regular grocery store. At a year, fish oils are extremely important because without them, a child’s brain cannot grow to full capacity. You can also introduce eggs at a year and I do recommend at least starting with organic eggs. Low or no gluten grains are key for energy so trying quinoa on Ava would be wonderful as it is loaded with protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Remember to rinse the quinoa first or she might not like it as much! Those are some ideas for you to get started with. Wishing you all the best in doing things differently and raising the healthiest child possible.
      Meredith

      • Thanks so much for these wonderful tips, Meredith! I appreciate you taking the time to answer, and will also check out the dvd you suggested. I really do want Ava to grow up in the healthiest environment possible. My mom brought us up on all homemade, home canned, healthy, food-no sugar, white flour, preservatives, boxed dinners, etc. We even ground our own wheat for the bread she made. 🙂 I haven’t kept up with all of her habits but would like to incorporate as many as possible so my daughter can benefit from a healthier lifestyle.
        I look forward to seeing what you post about next!

        • You are so blessed to have been raised in such a wholesome way! I think you know how rare that is. I look forward to being able to help you do the same with Ava – even just knowing that that there is another naturally minded person out there sometimes helps!

          Meredith

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