Most families agree: it’s a challenge to keep up with the never-ending activities during the holiday season. Not only are you trying to keep up with ongoing traditions, but there are more events scheduled with family and friends to celebrate this fun time of year.
Christmas is just around the corner, and the New Year isn’t too far behind. If you are struggling to juggle the many priorities in December, then it might be tempting to set your self-care aside for the month and start fresh in January.
But don’t neglect yourself this year! When you feel the stress and pressure of the season, it’s more important than ever to prioritize your self-care, so you are ready to show up for the people you love.
Too often, self-care falls to the bottom of the priority list because of the busy schedules, late nights, parties, food, and financial burdens. As a result, you are likely feeling both emotionally and physically stretched, making it a challenge to get up early to exercise or do anything other than fall into bed at the end of a long day.
The truth is that your current self-care not only affects your happiness during this holiday season but has a long-lasting effect on January and beyond. How well you are taking care of yourself right now can contribute to seasonal blues in January, chronic health conditions in future months, and a domino effect of other health issues that affect your overall wellbeing.
Right now, you have an excellent opportunity to shift your focus to the most important things: love, happiness, family, and relationships – including your relationship with SELF. As you are wrapping up the end of the year and looking at your goals for 2022, it’s the perfect time to cultivate the self-love you need to reconnect with the things that matter most.
Taking care of yourself is critical to ensure you feel good and ready to show up as your best self. Don’t let your energy and motivation “run on empty” – instead, fill yourself up with joy and health, so you have excess to share with the people you love.
The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season is to make sure you stay consistent with small, simple habits that contribute to health. These self-care habits are even more important if you are dealing with chronic pain or are recovering from a serious health condition. Here are a few things to consider:
Sugar and fattening foods not only make you feel sluggish, but they can contribute to chronic inflammation that aggravates chronic pain. Following a healthy diet during this time of year is essential to help you feel good both day and night. But it doesn’t mean that you have to skip all of the holiday treats that come through the door.
Instead, look for the best way to maintain moderation in your daily habits—plan healthy, well-balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then, decide ahead of time how much you will choose to eat when holiday treats are offered. For example, you might stick to your regular diet during the week, then enjoy treats at the holiday parties on the weekends.
If you don’t have time to spend on meal preparation, consider giving yourself the gift of a meal service during the month of December. Mail order meal boxes bring the fresh ingredients to your doorstep, making it easy to assemble and enjoy a fresh, healthy meal with the family each night.
When your schedule is overbooked, self-care activities such as exercise often fall to the backburner. If you don’t have time to fit in a workout or a visit to the physical therapist, then it means that you are too busy.
Look for non-essential activities and responsibilities that you can cut out of the schedule. Simplifying your daily schedule means that you can turn your focus to the most important tasks, such as fitness, diet, mindset, relationships, and more.
Be realistic as you are choosing goals for the month. For example, it probably isn’t achievable to lose 15 pounds this month, especially with all of the holiday food that will be offered at parties. So instead, you might set a goal to maintain your current weight or lose a smaller amount (such as 5 pounds).
Also, it’s much more effective to prioritize the health rituals instead of the outcome for these goals. An example is setting a goal to exercise 3 days a week and eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, instead of tracking your progress by the numbers on the scale.
Stress has an undeniable effect on mental health and impacts physical health. When you are working with a holistic healthcare provider, it’s more than just popping pills to reduce your pain. Lifestyle adjustments play a role in pain management, which is why your doctor will want to know about your daily activities and more.
If you are stressed because there is too much going on this month, it can affect your ability to cope with the daily responsibilities of life. Some people fall into negative cycles of overdrinking or overeating as a way to cope with their stress, which can lead to an increase in inflammation and higher pain levels.
Be proactive about managing your stress with exercise, meditation, mindset, and more. These tasks might seem small, but they add up to important results in the long run.
Chronic pain can put a damper on your holiday celebrations. If you need help with pain management, our specialists are just a phone call away. We offer solutions for back pain and many other chronic pain conditions. Schedule a consultation and access a personalized pain treatment plan from Texas Partners Healthcare Group.