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Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays, Naturally

The holiday season is here, along with never-ending to-do lists, demands on your time and attention, and the stress that seems inherent in the festivities.  So how do we stay both well and sane, naturally, and truly enjoy the holidays?  Here are some of our favorite holistic suggestions! 

  1. Keep it simple.  Hosting a large crowd for the holidays?  No need for an elaborate eight-course gourmet feast.  Stick to simple basics and do them really well.  Real food doesn't need to be fancy to be good.  Impress your family with some easy but elegant food.  For example, try out these Bacon Wrapped Figs as a holiday appetizer or this Simple Spinach and Sausage Strata for a Christmas morning brunch.
  2. Take Care of Yourself and Your Family.  Stress can wreck havoc with your immune system.  Keep yourself and your family healthy with probiotics and other immune system boosters to try to ward off the season's bugs. 
  3. Make Time for You.  Holidays with kids can really shift your focus away from self-care.  Surviving the season means finding time to take care of yourself, too.  Enjoy some aromatherapy or an herbal bath to restore your mind, body, and spirt.
  4. Keep it Green.  Does a house full of useless plastic toys make your head spin?  Green up your holidays with gifts that are not only eco-conscious but that also inspire creativity and imagination. Try a themed Discovery Box for the kids on your list or some organic, sustainable treats for the men or women on your list!
  5. Be Ready for Curveballs.  In spite of the very best plans, life sometimes throws you a curveball.  One of the kids gets sick on a holiday eve or the stress of the season creates new challenges.  Be ready, both by stocking up on ways to care for yourself and cultivating your flexibility and patience.  Coughs, colds, or upset tummies may be on the horizon - find some natural remedies to have on hand so that you're ready.  Nursing a little one?  You might want to keep some helpers around in case your milk supply is less than usual due to the stress.  Be ready and then roll with what comes your way. 
  6. Stay Hydrated.  Gingerbread lattes and wine with your feast can do a real number on your hydration levels.  Hydration is critical for wellness - even a small decrease in your water intake can slow your coordination and decrease your concentration.  Drink plenty of pure water and even try a little flavoring for the season if it gets you to keep up your water intake!
  7. Indulge Better.  Okay, it IS the holidays, after all.  We look forward to so many special treats, from holiday cookies to some old-time favorites, like eggnog.  Indulge a little, but try to select healthier versions of your weaknesses, or make your own with organic and sustainable ingredients!
  8. Don't Stray Too Far.  Little indulgences happen, but try not to toss away all of your healthy practices for the season.  If you avoid toxins in your personal care products, stick with your favorite healthy and effective brands rather than over stressing your body.  Look into handy travel sizes so that you can bring them along and not compromise your standards.  Ditto for your diet.  If you have food sensitivities, don't let your guard down too much or you will suffer for it in the end.  There are great gluten-free, dairy-free options out there - make some of your own and bring them along so that you are not tempted to go overboard.
  9. Be present.  Staying in the moment is both the easiest and hardest thing that you can do to remain calm and enjoy all of the holiday festivities.  Being mindful can reduce stress, lower your blood  pressure, and improve your sleep.  With so much to do, though, it can also be a challenge.  Try practicing mindfulness each day by tuning into the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of each moment and noticing them fully.  
  10. Make Connections.  The holiday season can be both joyous and difficult.  If you have lost loved ones or are facing a difficult time, the holidays can exacerbate your emotional challenges.  Make social connections and find a like-minded community to get you through the season with support and friendship.  Know that there are many others like you out there and few of us have picture-perfect holiday seasons.
A warm thank you to all the supporters, Sponsors, and friends of the Holistic Moms Network who provide us with so many holistic resources for the holidays and beyond!

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