*This post is a rerun from a few years ago when there were no distancing or gathering restrictions, so while some of these scenarios may not apply this year, we are obviously still dealing with a lot of stress and stretching (and being in very close quarters with our family 24/7!) and these timeless principles still stand!*
I have mentioned already how much I love Thanksgiving. But every year I forget how EXHAUSTING it can be!
I'm a pretty low-key sort of person. I don't get out a lot, and I like it that way. You might think I'm anti-social, but that's not the case, I just like my socializing spread out and well planned with plenty of breaks. So every year, hitting up 3 Thanksgivings in two days, plus the travel time (and now with a baby! Yikes!) is enough to send my inner introvert into early hibernation.
In addition this year, since I am still dealing with some hormone stuff, all the stress and different foods this year triggered some old symptoms so have been dealing with that the last several days.
As a result, this week has been one of nourishing myself, and regrouping as we head into a busy Christmas season. And since I know that you might be needing a little re-centering yourself as we run headlong into the holiday season, I want to take today to share a few practical self-care tips that I am doing for myself and my family.
1.) Get Extra Sleep
Being an introvert in a large group of people is exhausting, not only emotionally and mentally but also physically. It is a real stress, and as such your body needs a little extra TLC to recover. One of the best ways is by getting in extra sleep, whether you take a 20-30 minute nap while the kids are napping, or you get into bed an hour earlier than usual, just make sure you are getting some extra rest. Your immune system will also thank you.
2.) Get in some Gentle Movement
You may think that punishing yourself with long, rigorous workouts after the Thanksgiving binge is just what you need to keep those extra pounds away, but doing high impact workouts for longer than 20 minutes is actually seen by the body as another form of stress. And too much stress=extra pounds. So take it easy this week and stick to gentler, shorter exercises like yoga, walking, or even a little bit of strength training if you feel the need for it.
3.) Sip Some Herbal Tea
One of my and my husbands favorite rituals this time of year is, shortly before bed we will turn off all the lights in the living room except for the Christmas tree, turn on some soft music, and sip on some hot tea while we talk about the day. It is an excellent chance to unwind, and regroup, and the tea is always something relaxing like chamomile, so it will help us sleep better, too.
You can add this ritual into any part of the day really, just change up the tea for your needs. You might choose a tasty Red Rooibos chai tea in the morning for caffeine-free energy, or an immune boosting blend in the afternoon for a pick-me-up if you are feeling under the weather. Your tea and tea-time is as unique as you are, so have fun with it!
4.) Just Say NO!!!
There are 9.5 million social events to attend and to host this time of year, and even though you feel like you should, you can't possibly do all of them! Honestly, the pressure to do everything is self inflicted for most of us. Generally speaking we are our harshest critics! So this year, if going to this party, or hosting that party does not make you feel excited and happy then just say NO! You may think that your kids will be missing out on all the fun if you do less, but I bet if you asked them, they would rather have just a few parties with good friends, and spend more time enjoying the season as a family.
5.) Eat Nourishing Foods
I firmly believe that food is the best medicine that we have, and making and eating it with those that we love most, can be therapeutic in and of itself. And when we make sure that the food we are eating is nutrient dense as well as tasty, then life just looks better, and brighter all around! Broths, and soups, and stews are really common this time of year, and are also among the most nutrient-dense dishes you can make, not to mention pretty easy to whip up, so no excuses!
If you are looking for nutritious recipes and/or meal plans to make things a little easier on yourself, or feeling a little off from the all the holiday foods, then I invite you to join my 4 day Jumpstart! It makes the perfect, no-deprivation, post-holiday reset!