Enjoying Tranquil Holidays
Enjoying Tranquil Holidays
By Jackie Callahan
Well, the holidays are upon us, and many of us find that our pace has quickened. It seems our to-do lists are endless, and our calendars, for the next four weeks, are rapidly filling up. While much of what we have planned will be enjoyable – and even joyous – the ‘getting there’ can be stressful. For, even though the events we will attend, or the tasks we will complete, may be entirely pleasurable, there is still an inherent tension that can come with the frantic pace of the holidays. This season is a time which is intended to be festive, and meaningful, but if we are too exhausted and stressed out, we will be unable to fully partake in the enjoyment. For a holiday that is tranquil, as well as joyous, remember these simple guidelines:
1. Don’t Overbook Yourself
Though parties, gatherings, and holiday events can be great fun, if we partake in too much celebrating, we will wind up feeling tired and drained (which, of course, can leave us more vulnerable to seasonal colds and flu). Better to be selective about the invitations we accept, recognizing that sometimes, “less is more.”
2. Pamper Yourself
Remember to take time out of your hectic schedule for some self-nurturing: a massage, a yoga class, or a movie-night with a friend, can go a long way toward charging your batteries. Or try a relaxing, candle-lit soak in a scented Epsom salts bath (1 cup of salts, 10 drops of a calming or uplifting essential oil, such as lavender, or grapefruit, to one tub of water). The Epsom salts not only soothe aching muscles by helping to remove lactic acid, but, seeing as they are magnesium-rich, they also help to calm us, as well; and enjoying a cup of relaxing chamomile tea while soaking will enhance the experience!
3. Get Centered
Remember to breathe! Sitting quietly for 5 minutes while focusing on your breath can be an amazing pick-me-up in the middle of a busy and stressful day. Going for a quiet walk in nature, or simply sitting and watching the birds at your feeder can have a very positive effect on our overall state of mind, giving us the momentum we need to get through our demanding schedule.
4. Maintain a Nutritious Diet
Feasting on rich foods is one of the best-loved traditions of this holiday season and there is no reason to deny ourselves this pleasure. But we can balance these indulgences by seeing to it that all of our other meals are balanced and nutritious. Often, when we over-indulge, our response is to skip meals in order to make up for excessive calorie intake, but this only sets us up to be more hungry later on, making it even more difficult to resist the ever-present banquet of holiday treats. When the rest of our meals are rich in whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, we will be less vulnerable to over-indulge in the rich foods that are seemingly everywhere this time of year, and those balanced meals will fuel us efficiently, giving us the energy we need to get through this busy season!
All of us at Healthy Living and Cafe Saratoga are hoping that you have a happy holiday season! The team from the Wellness Department, in particular, wishes you a peaceful and joyous season!
David, Jackie, Melynda, Cat and Kevin
Jackie Callahan has been interested in health and nutrition for her entire adult life. She is an amateur naturalist and has written over 13 illustrated journals on the flora and fauna of Fish Creek, an outlet of Saratoga Lake, and is currently studying with master herbalist, Dr. Aviva Romm, working toward a certification as an herbal educator. She works as a sales associate in the Healthy Living (Saratoga) Wellness department. She lives in Saratoga Springs on beautiful Fish Creek with her husband, John and their son, Alex. She also has two grown children, Danielle and Devin, who live in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Burlington, Vermont, respectively.