The 12 Days of Christmas Health, Day 5

Take time for you

(Part 5 of a 12-part series)

With our faced-paced lives, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed once in a while. Trying to balance work, family, and other commitments especially during the holiday season, leaves us with very little time for ourselves – and can lead to chronic stress. But when we don’t set time aside to unwind, our mental and physical health can suffer.

The holiday spirit is about helping those around you, but you also have to make time to take care of yourself. So, take a break and treat yourself to something special.

Here are some suggestions of ways that you can take some time to unwind this busy holiday season:

Decompress.

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A DIY spa night complete with a bubble bath and a facial is a luxury we should treat ourselves to on a regular basis. And it is much less time consuming and more cost effective than going out to a spa (though that can be great too). Aromatherapy - essential oils - are a beautiful way to support relaxation, manage stress, and contribute to overall wellness. Geranium, clary sage, ylang ylang and lavender are among the many scents that are known for their restorative and stress relieving properties.  

During your spa, treat yourself to a cool glass of mint and lemon infused water. Infused water is detoxing, helping you feel even more refreshed.   

Music Therapy.

Research shows that listening to music can offset stress, relieve pain, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and support restful sleep. Classical music, soft jazz and other soothing music work best because they cause the body to release endorphins.  Listening to music with nature sounds (waves on the ocean, birds chirping, a bubbling brook), allows your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or sounds in the piece.

Meditate.

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Just a few minutes of practice can help ease anxiety. Studies show that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.

Taking a few minutes to meditate can be simple: Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting -- out loud or silently -- a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I am whole.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breath. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds.

Give yourself the gift of peace.

When the invitations start to pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. If you need some down time to recharge for the next big party, declare some “me” time and do something that relaxes you. Try the ideas above, take some time to read a new book, or go for a walk to look at holiday lights. Whatever you choose, by taking some time to rest, you’ll have more energy to enjoy your holidays.

Recipe: Warming Winter Chai Tea (perfect for those snowy holiday mornings)

Previous posts in this series:

Day 4

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

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