Last week we featured holistic nutritionist and workplace wellness educator Jessica Kishpaugh in the first part of her series on staying sane and healthy-ish during the long holiday season. Jessica shared some great tips on healthy eating and staying mindful of your health as we celebrate the company of others and the close of a crazy year. This week, she shares some of her personal tips for navigating the other practical aspects of the season. Enjoy, and, Happy Holidays!
Now, let’s tackle the other important area of holiday wellness – enjoying holiday cheer and happiness.
Starting with holiday traditions, think about what the holidays really mean to you. Keep traditions that you love and that jive for your family, and also be open to new ones that may cross your path.
Begin your holiday happiness journey by asking yourself, “what can I do during the holiday season… to fulfill my need for emotional peace… to fulfill my need for physical health… to fulfill my need for spiritual connection… to fulfill my need for social interaction?” Explore the answers to these questions in detail and then start taking action.
Next, implement effective coping strategies to minimize stress during the holidays. Here are a few quick tips to overcome holiday stressors:
1) Avoid financial overload. Plan ahead with your family about the extent of your expenditures, including discussing any reasons for cutting back this year. Plan how much you want to buy ahead of time. Get creative. People appreciate thoughtful gifts, so perhaps you want to make a gift instead of buying one. Consider drawing names for gift exchanges or giving one major present to each family member as opposed to many gifts.
2) Negotiate and ask for help. You don’t have to do it all and you don’t have to do it alone. Split up errands and tasks; togetherness makes work go faster and can result in quality time spent with family or friends.
3) Pace yourself. Schedule breaks. Understand you may be more fatigued by the holiday activities and plan accordingly.
4) Perform selfless service. Volunteering can be especially needed and appreciated in the holiday season. It’s a great way of giving back to society as well as enhancing your own self-esteem.
5) Plan and Prioritize. Make choices that are important to you. Schedule or create a calendar that covers the weeks before the holidays through the new year. What are your commitments and activities during the holiday season? Are you over-scheduled? Do you have a sense of balance?
6) Set limits. Don’t overextend by accepting too much responsibility. Remember, saying “no” can be your best defense. Learn how to accept or decline invitations. Narrow down what is meaningful and workable for you and your loved ones. Recognize that you are not in control of other people’s feelings and expectations. Control the only thing you can — the quality of your own holiday experience!
7) Take care of yourself. Use some common sense stress reducers. Reduce stress by getting a massage, going for a long walk or catching a movie.
8) Give yourself grace and permission to grieve after a major family change. Acknowledge the fact that you need to grieve about the change, especially at this time of year. Make some changes to the normal holiday routine and lean on friends and family for support.
About Jessica Kishpaugh
Jessica is a Holistic Nutritionist and Workplace Wellness Educator and the owner of Loyowellness. With an intuitive eating and self-care approach, Jessica counsels clients to let go of dieting and emotional eating so they can create happier, wholesome, balanced lives, and to empower them with confidence to live a life of health, body positivity, and freedom. Jessica received her integrative nutrition health coaching certification from one of the top health coaching schools, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jessica also has a certification in exercise nutrition from Precision Nutrition. Jessica is a former trial attorney who transitioned her career to follow her passion in health and wellness. Jessica is a mom of three young children and she helps similar busy moms implement family wellness practices and healthy living strategies into their lives. Jessica is a runner and a triathlete, a Disney fan, enjoys the outdoors and loves to travel.