Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga and meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!
The days get quicker. The lists are longer. The social calendar is packed. The indulgence and consumption of rich foods and libations become tripled. Bank accounts are dwindled. The Holiday Fog rolls in thick and lingers well into the New Year.
How does all of this affect us during one of the most wonderful times of the year?
I recently read a social media status questioning “what is wrong with the people today?” after being cut off by a couple folks in a busy grocery parking lot. Are these people really rude by nature or is their vision diminished by the “holiday fog”?
One of the most asked questions in December each year is “Are you ready yet?” While the occasional bizarrely organized person (who we all secretly judge) may reply “since August” most replies are sprinkled with a dusting of panic and worry. “Not yet!”
The holiday fog washes over us. Our mind begins to race with the endless to do lists and for each social event we are invited to, we contemplate what we will wear, what hors d'oeuvres we will make (or buy because we have totally run out of time), what $20 non-gender gift we will bring for the exchange and what should we give to the host and hostess. We rack our brains with strategic shopping tactics for the perfect gift for that one family member that has everything or for the kids that want it all, while playing Do-si-do with our savings and credit cards. Our bellies (and heads) are challenged by the over consumption. The stress sets into our neck, shoulders and backs. Our breath becomes shallower and quicker releasing a hormone called “cortisol” (also known as the stress hormone). We sleep less and challenge our immune system while spending more time in a packed room of family and friends where there is always one person blowing their nose with a hacking cough. Our lack of deep breaths take in less oxygen to our brain turning us into November flies randomly bouncing off of each other.
So what can we do? It’s the same deal every year. There are so many enjoyable times about the holiday season, how do we keep that our focus?
We let go of fear, obligation, and guilt! (Acronym for F.O.G.)
What if we worry less that we will get it all done? (We always do.) We can make our own lists (and check it twice) of what is really important. What if we pace ourselves, attending only the social events that make our face and heart smile? Can we let go of guilt for eating those amazing chocolate drizzled shortbread cookies and enjoy them (in moderation), while eating healthy organic vegetables and fruit between events? What if ignoring that we are over tired with a sore lower back was replaced with us taking a nap with a heating pad?
Take personal inventory. As you scan your body, mind and heart, ask yourself how you feel? Bring awareness to what is and then with a loving acceptance, take action. Be aware of your mind going into an autopilot review of all that you have to do (especially while driving in a grocery parking lot or you may be referenced online).
Stay present, in the now. What does this moment need from you?
The more we practice present moment awareness the more we can enjoy life. When we take care of ourselves and listen to our needs of the now, we can balance the scale of chaos with a bubble bath and a hot cocoa (with or without a shot of Baileys).
So I invite you to ask yourself, what do you need to stay balanced until the holiday fog clears?
To whatever holiday you celebrate, let it be full of tidings of comfort and joy in each and every present moment you experience.
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