I sit here chuckling as I consider to how to: be a better wife, mother, daughter; run our two businesses; balance my volunteer hours; plan time for exercising, meal preparation, playing with my grandsons, praying and honoring God, staying on top of social media, writing out Christmas cards, shopping locally for gifts, recognizing and praise my staff and spreading holiday cheer. That list doesn’t even include time for my own reflection and well-being. I became overwhelmed with exhaustion and stress just thinking about it. I know I am not alone when it comes to dealing with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. So, what advice can I give you, my community?
Here are a few actions to take for a stress-free holiday season from the voice of Debbie Maranville:
Plan. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup. Plan a potluck with friends and neighbors. You are not alone when it comes to the holiday rollercoaster ride. Split up the menu by having your guests bring a salad, side dish, appetizers, dessert – and you provide the entrée. This eliminates major clean up and additional planning. Potlucks are cozy and fun. Don’t forget to plan a date night with your partner or loved ones.
Learn to say “No.” This is one of my biggest opportunities. I often answer with my heart and say, “Yes,” rather than clearly stating, “NO!” Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. Think first before you answer.
Practice healthy habits. These include eating balanced meals, drinking enough water, getting eight hours of sleep per night, washing your hands frequently to prevent spreading bacteria and getting your physical activity in. Schedule your weekly massage therapy session. You will need this self-care. Massage therapy is such a necessity. Massage therapy reduces and eliminates pain; improves joint mobility, circulation and lymphatic drainage; and reduces muscular tension. The therapists at The Natural Healing Garden are skilled to listen to your needs and help you with your overall path to wellness.
Savor a spicy meal. Hot foods and spices trigger the release of endorphins, the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being. I have personally experienced well-being through eating different chilis, curries, soups and warm beverages that include easy-to-find spices and herbs. Should you need some coaching, feel free to contact my office and I can help you on your path to “spice.”
Include protein and water. Before you attend a party or are sitting down to eat a big holiday dinner, make sure to fill up on plenty of water and lots of protein. Water fills you up and is good for you in just about every way, but the other reason for drinking water is to stay hydrated. So often, we eat when we are dehydrated and thirsty. Drinking water can soften the cravings and keep you from overeating! Protein serves to keep you full so that you’ll have less room for junk food and will be satisfied for longer periods of time. So, before going in for a massive scoop of stuffing, put lots of turkey and vegetables on your plate, then have a little taste of everything else.
Finally, take time for yourself. This is another area that I will focus on during the holidays. Take a walk in the sunshine, read a book, snuggle in front of the fire and listen to holiday music. Whatever you choose, remember you must honor yourself with the gift of time! QCBN
By Debbie Maranville
Debbie Maranville is the co-owner of The Natural Healing Garden/Goods from the Garden. The Natural Healing Garden/ Goods from the Garden can be reached at 928-237-4116 or 928-237-3214 or Naturalhealinggarden@gmail.com