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Let's Talk Turkey

Just got back from the Hudson River valley where we gathered for my niece’s nuptials. What a great place to get married. The mountains in the background, the mighty Hudson nearby, it was so picturesque.

I think I just heard a huge sigh of relief from my sister, who is now finished with two of her daughters getting married back-to-back. We can now focus on Thanksgiving, just a few days away. Piece of cake – or pie, your choice. But first, let's talk a little turkey about what typically happens during the holidays...

We often devolve this time of year into a mania of shopping, cooking, more shopping, decorating and wrapping, that leaves precious little time to relax and enjoy the season. We get little sleep, don't eat well, and feel anxious most of the time, trying to fulfill a never-ending "to do" list.

Did you know that about 38% of people in the US feel that the holidays make us feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed? So much for feeling jolly.

Enough already! I wouldn’t be your weekly health expert if I didn’t share with you some healthy tips to keep you sane this season, sprinkled with some healthy recipes, of course. So here we go.

You know I am a huge fan of self-care and practice it everyday in one form or another, so I feel I can vouch for it. Maybe normally you are, too. However, what typically happens during the holiday season, when we have less time and higher expectations (self-inflicted for the most part) placed on us, we tend to forget to tend to ourselves. Am I right?

This is probably the most important time for us to schedule “me time” so that we don’t start feeling overanxious, down, or cranky. And when I say schedule, I mean put it on the calendar – for real.

More Holiday tips and tricks:

1. Get enough sleep. You need 7 to 9 hours to feel rested, and make sure your environment is conducive to quality sleep. Cool, quiet, and dark. Yes, be a mushroom for a night.

2. Delegate. You don’t have to do all the cooking, all the card writing, all the decorating, or all the wrapping. Assign tasks, and of course, pick what you like to do first.

3. Know your boundaries. And know when to say “No”. I do this exercise sometimes with clients who are always saying “yes” to the people around them, where I keep asking them to do something (and they start doing it) until I get them to say “no”. Sometimes it can take a while to get the hang of it, but you can, trust me. And it will feel good.

4. Schedule “me time”. Make that appointment to get your hair or nails done (or both), get a massage or a facial, stop at a library to get some good books to read, get to a yoga or Pilates class, whatever makes you feel good. Schedule this now, book the appointment(s). You will be glad you did.

5. Practice mindfulness. Every day is to be enjoyed, holiday or not. When you find yourself getting a little frenetic, breathing shallowly, feeling you can’t get everything done, STOP. Take a deep breath, and another one. Now, think about what you love about the holidays…get that mental image in your head. Is it the holiday music, the tree ornaments, the gift giving, the time spent with family, the special foods you make this time of year? Whatever it is, stop for a moment and savor your fond memories. Focus on what you truly love about this time of year.

6. Manage expectations. Sometimes we get so caught up in the season, we overdo it. We do all the special things for the people we love, and yet, what can happen is if we don’t get the recognition or reaction we were expecting, we feel disappointed. Resentful, even. Do what you are able to do. Don’t expect anything or imagine anyone else’s reaction. Just savor the moments, they will come, if you aren’t too busy looking for something else.

This holiday season that we are coming into can be fraught with anxiety, obsession, hysteria.

Or it can be a joyous time, where you are truly grateful for all that you have, you are anticipating the relaxing time spent with your family and friends, you are cooking, preparing and savoring treasured recipes, and stockpiling all of these memories for tomorrow.

It is up to you, how it goes down in the remainder of 2022.

If you would like my Holiday Stress & Anxiety Diminishing Meal Plan, message me, subject line: Stress

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