Katherine Chen, Lagree Fitness instructor and mother to one children, shares her thoughts and opinions around implementing the most beneficial mindset during the holidays to keep you from becoming overwhelmed and fatigued! Hint: SELF CARE!
It's easy to get overwhelmed this time of year as we prep for the holidays. Whether thoughtfully hunting for gifts, menu planning around the many dietary preferences & restrictions these days, tying up loose ends at work or getting the home ready for guests. The list goes on...
This holiday season, let's make a pact to give the gift of Self Care to... ourselves! No we're not talking face masks or mani pedis (though always a nice treat!), but REALLY checking in with how you're doing physically, mentally & emotionally and utilizing these 5 tools to enjoy a well+good holiday season.
Self Care Tool 1: The Power of Breath
As you go about your busy day from home to work to school or jam packed holiday parking lots and then the parties, you may forget to breathe! Stop, drop and use breathwork to decompress, get through uncomfortable moments travelling (hello long security lines and waiting to deplane!) or being in the not so good company of family. You can even use synchronized breath to CONNECT with your partner or children. One DEEP slow inhale and exhale is all it takes to change things up and turn the ship around and reinvigorate busy days of work, parties and shopping. The more reps the better, it may even put you to sleep!
Self Care Tool 2: Start & End The Day with Gratitude
Thanksgiving has come & gone but you can still kick off and seal the day by giving thanks.
You can say it out loud (I love sharing with my husband & 7yo son), make a mental note or jot down 3 points of gratitude in a journal when you wake up. Throughout the day when confronted with feelings of doubt, unease, disappointment, frustration, anger -- pause and zero in on ONE thing you are grateful for. Come back to gratitude as needed. Before bed, take another moment to verbalize or jot down 3 points of gratitude as your final task of the day.
Self Care Tool 3: The Power of No: Less Is More
Take a look at your calendar. At first glance, does it make your heart beat with anxiety or make your face scrunch up with dread? Opt-out out of tasks, meetings, visits, parties, purchases that don't bring you joy. Politely decline with humility & grace. Be unapologetic of the decision knowing your mind & body will be better for it. You will be more present with the tasks, parties & obligations you actually DO want to (or must) show up for.
Self Care Tool 4: Eat With Intention
Holidays mean parties, cocktails & snacks, but it can also mean you get too busy and FORGET to eat. Think of your body like an automobile. A car needs fuel to run. Your body needs fuel to function, and the right kind of fuel to function at its best. Instead of viewing holiday foods as "BAD", first fuel your body with foods that nourish & support the many bodily functions, followed by the foods that are fun. Listen to your mind & body for cues: are you hungry or is it because you are thirsty, are you eating because you're bored or coping with stress, are you beating yourself up for enjoying holiday foods? Keep nutrient dense snacks for on the go (I keep Apres and Perfect Bars in my purse or car) and choose nutrient dense foods first at holiday parties then follow with the fun stuff like chips, desserts and champagne.
Self Care Tool 5: Move Your Body
Colder weather means we tend to stay indoors and who doesn't love cuddle weather? But it also means we need to get the heart going & blood flowing! Although hibernating under a big pile of blankets with a hoodie on is a favorite pastime of mine, I know the importance of mood boosting endorphins. The body needs to keep moving or it can result in loss in muscle & strength! If you can't get a full workout in, find a 5-10 minute song to dance to and REALLY move those limbs, from the arms to the legs & gyrate the hips. I personally love Cirrus by Bonobo.
Let's keep the conversation going. Follow me at @intentionally_kat on Instagram and shoot me a DM to let me know what songs you're dancing to this holiday season or maybe even what you feel overwhelmed with at the moment.
Here for you.