The holiday season is a joyous time but it can also be a time of overindulgence, overspending and overbooking that can leave you with a pretty big hangover in January.  With a little planning you can pace yourself for the marathon of December and come out feeling just as joyous in January.

boys hockey better

Get out…just do it. Get a walk in every day.  We know how cold it is, bundle up and move fast enough to stay warm.  Take the dog. Take the kids. Or, just go on your own and enjoy the peace and quiet. It doesn’t need to be a long walk but 20 minutes of fresh air and exercise will do wonders for your mood and stress level.  If you plan it during your lunch break you can enjoy the precious light outside as well.

Think outside the box.  Often we get stuck choosing fancy gifts for our children or loved ones when some of the nicest gifts are the simplest ones.  My favourite gift last year was a basket of treats my son made up for me.  He knew I was feeling melancholy after a trip I’d had to France and chose a couple bottles of French wine, some French cheese and chocolate and gluten free crackers. The basket was borrowed and the gift card was a photocopied passport with stamps from France in it.  The thought that went into the gift touched me.  A basket of treasures is often more fun then just one box to open.

Choose quality over quantity.  Parties and gatherings can become mindless eating binges (or drinking binges for some of us!).  Opt for the items you love the best and truly enjoy them.  Likewise, choose the gatherings that will most fill your soul. Concentrate on enjoying the company and stick by the folks you most love to spend time with even if you do have to say a few words to crusty old Uncle Bob.  Alternate water with wine or drinks to keep yourself hydrated and keep a moderate glow.  You’ll wake up feeling happier and with more energy.  And you’ll enjoy the party more.

Opt for a modest Christmas.  Since January will have blow out sales and children often get money from relatives for Christmas, why not let them enjoy going out to buy the “fancy gadget” they want after the holiday season and at a bargain price?  This also lets them think long and hard about if they want to spend “their” money on the coveted item.  And having spent “their” money they are more likely to take good care of it. Learning about money at a young age, and how to keep hold of it is a lesson that means so much more then being the first to have the newest gadget on the market.

Make memories.  People won’t remember the gadgets and doodads near as much as the experiences the holidays evoke.  Bake and decorate cookies.  Have snowball fights.  Play shinny on the pond. Watch Christmas movies with popcorn and cocoa.  Build blanket forts on snow days.  Have a tree trimming party. Do things to make memories for everyone involved. After all, the holidays are about being together.

Send New Year cards. Everyone rushes to get Christmas cards out on time.  Is the stress and insanity really worth it?  Forget December, it will be a bright, shiny, glittery month regardless. Do you really need to ice that cake?   January needs some joy.  Take the time to write some letters and make up personal cards when you have the time and there is no rush.  You can do a few at a time, there is no deadline because no one is expecting them.  Loved ones will appreciate the January boost because it is a novel idea that comes at a much needed time.  And it may just give you a bit of a boost at a blah time of year.

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Cut yourself some slack.  You don’t have to be perfect.  Maybe the house isn’t as clean as you’d like…your guests are here to see you.  Maybe the turkey burned and the gravy boiled over….scrape off the black there’s still lots of meat under there.  Forgive yourself for not being perfect.  Family and friends love you for who you are and want to be with you.  If you eat too much or drink too much, let it go.  Yesterday is gone.  Make today a new and fresh day.  Give yourself a spa day and eat clean and lean. Get out and exercise off the extra calories and hydrate away.  Love yourself this time of year, because that is what the season is all about.

And….if you do overindulge our naturopaths can help you push the restart button and get back on track.  If you need a little help dealing with the stress of the holidays or need an energy boost after a few too many days of reveling we are here for you.  Book an appointment and get feeling better!  You deserve it.

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