Health Holiday Tips: Keeping the Season Jolly

The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy family, the spread love and generosity, and to make time for special activities with friend and loved ones.

However, the holidays can also create stress, added pounds, and imbalance to your life.

Avoid the downside of the holidays with these tips.

Health Holiday Tip #1: Keep it simple - whether it's food, gatherings, or goals. This is will keep the stress manageable and prevent overload.

Health Holiday Tip #2: Curb the holiday party eating frenzy with the simple strategy of eating soup and/or salad before going so you can enjoy the rich goodies in more manageable amounts. And don't forget to carry a bag of nuts, seeds and raisins for those quick snack attacks.

Health Holiday Tip #3: When going to the holiday potluck parties, take a dish that meets your needs, is relatively healthy, and not too far out so others can enjoy it, too. That way, if you have special food needs, you know you'll be covered.

Health Holiday Tip #4: When buying the massage gift certificate for that special someone in your life, don't forget to share in the bounty and take care of yourself, too. To make it even easier, I offer a package of massages that can shared throughout the whole family. A family that gets massages is a happy family!

Health Holiday Tip #5: Build in some down time. Yes the holidays can be filled with lots of fun activities but filled is the key word. When the schedule gets overly full, reserves wear thin and this can lead to stress, emotional overload and illness. Take a couple hours or a day off to make sure you stay refreshed for the rest of the celebrating.

Health Holiday Tip #6: Ask yourself what really NEEDS to be done and when and give yourself a break to let the rest go. Often you create your own stress and pressure by setting internal time lines that aren't absolute. I changed one of mine a couple years ago and my Christmas cards became New Year's cards - allowing me a longer period to get them done.

Health Holiday Tip #7: Stay connected to your gratitude and it will help tether your mind and spirit. It is hard to complain, feel grumpy, annoyed or overwhelmed when you are counting your blessings.

Health Holiday Tip #8: Make some time to move. Whether this be 15 minutes of stretching or a solid aerobic workout, taking care of your physical body will pay off in many ways – countering some of the extra calories which are just a given, helping you stay feeling strong inside and out, keeping your energy levels up and your stress down.

Health Holiday Tip #9: Giving back can be such a joy and this is a great season to support those less fortunate than you. Many possibilities: adopt a family in need, help at a homeless shelter, sign up for a shift to ring the Salvation Army bell, help at your church or another community organization. Let your love flow outwards and all around.

Health Holiday Tip #10: Find your joy and let it flow. Happy Holidays!!

©2011, Jamie Durner, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner & Wellness Educator at Ayurveda Wellness in Pewaukee, WI