Chronic Hurry and the Holiday Season

~ Brooke Vlachos, RMT

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines” Henry David Thoreau

Hurrying is often associated with unpleasant tasks. We rush through things we feel we have to do thinking: “I just HAVE to get this finished”. What should be a blessing: picking out or creating the perfect gift for a loved one, making homemade egg nog, or cleaning a house that will soon be filled with family and friends, becomes a begrudging chore, a TASK. We are so busy rushing from task to task, especially at this time of year that it’s very easy to miss out on enjoying what makes this time so special.

My advice for the healthiest of holiday seasons is simple: slow down. Give up the hurry. The holidays will happen whether you’ve cooked the perfect turkey or gotten your head stuck inside in.

Recognizing that the winter solstice is about slowing down why not take a tip from Mother Nature? As the ground turns hard and the snow starts to fall, try to align your pace with this environmental shift.

Here are a few more suggestions on how to slow down and actually enjoy your holiday season:

– Take pleasure in the rituals. Every Christmas Eve my family still sits down together and reads: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Whatever your rituals may be, make time for them this year and be sure not to rush or dread them.

– Wish everyone you encounter Happy Holidays or whatever seasonally appropriate greeting resonates with you. Connecting with strangers is a great way to slow down and give some perspective to our chronically rushed state.

– Enjoy the extra calories. Stressing out about how much you eat actually doesn’t help you lose weight anyway. Instead of denying yourself of the deliciousness the holidays have to offer or berating yourself when you do indulge, give yourself permission to celebrate and skip the negative self-talk.

– Take up winter walking. Whether before a holiday party, after or during, a 15 minute walk will leave you refreshed and revived after a heavy meal. Encourage your loved ones to join you and maybe it will become a new holiday tradition.

– Enjoy the cheesy music. It’s easy to be Ebnezer Scrooge and bah humbug the tackiness of the season, but it’s more fun to be Bob Cratchit and enjoy the spirit of the holidays no matter what others may think or say about your holiday reindeer sweater.

– Make a pre-new years resolution to slow down and look positively on this time of year and the year to come. Positive thinking has long been hark and heralded for its ability to improve health and well being.

Wherever and however you celebrate, I wish you much happiness and hope for the slow enjoyment of all this holiday season has to offer.