Yeah...it's that time of year again! I don't know about you but for me holidays can be both blessing and curse. 🙄 I'm usually running around, shopping, cleaning, wrapping, cursing, eating. By the time the day comes I'm usually just ready to get it over with. Bah!
If there's a blessing that can come from the pandemic it's that I've had an excuse to withdraw from the hullabaloo and my holidays are simply quiet evenings at home...and I love it.
Spiritually speaking...I'm over holidays. I still participate because there's an expectation. So many people get so much joy from the holidays I figure my inconvenience is a small price to pay for someone else's happiness. The trick is to manage when it feels like too much and I strongly suggest that when it feels like too much, put the brakes on it. It's not worth the damage to your psyche and what affects the psyche ALWAYS affects the physical body. Sometimes we don't notice, but the damage is quiet and it is cumulative. In the US we wear stress as a badge of honor. "I've been up all night cooking," we brag as we massage our temples and snap at every one around us from lack of sleep. But it's an unhealthy practice. Pushing through stress takes more than it gives. As I get older, I'm finding my balance with the holidays. I've cut back on the number of people I exchange gifts with to those who know me well and will give gifts I will make use of and because I know them well, I can give an equally thoughtful gift. I've cut back on a lot of cooking, offering instead to bring simple dishes. If they ask for someone to volunteer cups and plates, I'm the first to raise my hand, Lol. Beverages too. All of this cuts down on my stress level.
Let's talk about the eating...my God the eating! Here's a few tips on how to manage the incessant noshing. First, make sure you are hydrated. I fill a 64 oz pitcher as soon as I get up. I make sure half of it is gone during mid-day and the rest by evening. Thirst manifests itself as hunger. If your body has the proper fluid level you're less likely to miss the signal, thinking you're hungry when you're actually thirsty. Buy a cute water bottle, preferably one with measurements on it so you can keep track of your ounces and take it with you. This one's cute.
Second...fill up on fiber rich foods. Sugary, carbs are empty calories. You can eat and eat and never fill full because nutritionally there's nothing there. I know it seems counter intuitive but eat the nuts. Nuts are nutrient dense, contain lots of fiber and will help you fill fuller longer. Same with anything that contains vegetables. Eat more of the crudité and you'll find you eat less of the cookies. And yes to chocolate but consume it in moderation. It's rich in magnesium and will help calm your nerves.
If, after all is said and done, you find you've overdone it. I found a fantastic product by a company called Body Health. The founder of the company is a medical doctor. Dr. Minkoff, and has a clinic where he treats everything from diabetes to cancer using a more holistic approach. The product I use is called Perfect Amino Power Meal Shake. It is supposed to be used as a meal replacement but I just consume it along with a meal, typically oatmeal for breakfast. I've lost several pounds with just that one change. I notice I don't snack on chips, pretzels as much as I used to. it's not a miracle worker but it's given me a little more control over my diet.
On to the spiritual stuff. The new year is a reminder that one has passed. Our lives are moving forward, whether we are or not, so we may as well keep up. I'm suggesting everyone buy a beautiful journal and commit to setting goals for yourself. Additionally, in that journal. commit to writing down who you want to be from this day forward, not just for this year. Think about your evolution...who are you being called to be? What habits should have been shed years ago? What relationship is still costing you? None of us is getting any younger. You can't be the real, expanded and perfect version of yourself if you're still carrying the baggage. Drop it for real this time.
In addition to journaling, I'm going to suggest you carve out time each day to visualize. I know I'm going to. The science has caught up, Guys. It's no longer airy-fairy stuff. They're starting to prove that as you visualize you actually reshape your mind. As you reshape your mind your outer world starts to conform to the image. It's a simple process but it does require discipline. Commit some time every day. If you can do it as part of a mediation process which I highly recommend, even better. Doesn't have to be anything long and drawn out. Just sit in the silence a few minutes each day. You have the time. Trust me, it's worth it.
As you commit to the highest and best version of yourself from this year forward, I have a couple podcasts you want to listen to. Saturday Morning Chats is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google and many others. Subscribe. There are two series available: Uncut is mostly my husband and I cutting up but you will leave with some spiritual insight and asking deeper questions and The Journey Series is me, directly sharing tips and tools to help you manage your life. You don't want to miss it. In fact, here's a quick sneak peak. I also have some journal prompts under the resources page on my website.
Lastly, stay safe out there. If you're going out, resist social pressure and wear your mask. Polypropylene and well fitted. Get lots of sleep so your immune system functions properly. Take your natural antivirals...oregano oil, olive leaf, monolaurin for extra protection. Make sure your multivitamin contains adequate levels of vitamin D and zinc. Enjoy your friends and family safely and at a distance wherever possible. Our hugs will be so much sweeter on the other side of this.
Praying for you all,
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Tonya Lampley is an author and Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about living life to the fullest and uses skills learned from her work as a coach as well as lessons from her own journey to write articles providing tips for successful living and to tell stories of hope and personal triumph. Her debut novel was titled A Taste of Love and was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist. Her short story titled Birthday Surprise received honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Short Story Contest. Her first non-fiction book Bad Men will soon be released. For more information about Tonya and her works please visit www.TonyaLampley.com.