BlogHoliday Recipe for Success
Planning a fabulous and fun holiday season is much like planning a wonderful meal. We must plan our menu, know our recipes, collect our ingredients and then prepare, in order to be able to enjoy. Much the same can go into planning for our mental health during the holiday seasons, being international and deliberate in caring for ourselves when the hustle and bustle, the colds and the flu, the office parties and family gatherings, can all catch up and overwhelm us.
Preparing and planning with some key ingredients can be essential in helping us to stay in balance, healthy and happy. Here are some to consider…
- Just like you plan to attend one more family gathering or office party, also remember to PLAN and SCHEDULE in down time, praying, resting, contemplating and reflecting on life.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE in time to be alone, without feeling guilty or selfish, maybe for a bubble bath, to read, to take a walk or a bike ride. If it was important to Jesus, it should be important to us, as well (Luke 5:16).
- Keep yourself well hydrated, with a PLAN and SCHEDULE to drink more water on a regular basis, especially when the indulgent delicacies are often abundant.
- To PLAN and SCHEDULE healthy snacks in throughout the day can help to regulate your blood sugar, increase your metabolism, lessen the chances of overindulging with tempting but less healthy foods and reduce cravings. This can ultimately reduce headaches, improve your mood and your ability to think and give you more energy.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE in time for physical refreshment, being intentional about getting exercise, sunshine and fresh air, as we are often cooped up in the car, home or office during the fall and winter months.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE time with your immediate family or with just a few close friends.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE to get adequate rest and sleep, working toward a healthy circadian rhythm, by going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time each day. Though adequate sleep is the optimum, it is often unrealistic during the holiday season, but consistency can help combat the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE a time to try to Identify potential triggers, such as triggering situations, events or that triggering relationship that can send us back to old unhealthy behaviors including strong negative emotions, acting out or obsessive behaviors, use of substances, overindulgence, etc. Before an event that could be triggering, we can prepare by praying, role-playing or processing strong emotions with a close and safe friend or therapist, which can give new insight and understanding.
- Having an accountability partner / confidante to rely on when the strong emotions do arise and can be overwhelming can be beneficial. PLAN and SCHEDULE a time to check-in with this person on a regular basis, whether daily, weekly or even hourly if you recognize ahead of time that a situation could potentially leave you vulnerable.
- PLAN and SCHEDULE a time each day to reflect upon the greatness of our Lord and Savior, remembering that “this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) When I remember each morning that my Lord orchestrated my day, that He is fully in control and all I need to do is to submit to HIm, it sure takes a lot of pressure off of me and allows me to be a better, stronger, happier, healthier and more relaxed person, not only for myself, but for those around me.
Add a few of your own and share them with a few close friends. You’ll probably feel refreshed and thankful for the season that is upon us.
LMFT, CATC, CCTP