• End the Year Strong and Healthy!

    Don’t Fall into the Holiday Trap

    It starts with Halloween candy. The beginning of the Holiday Season of overindulging and eventually feeling like crap. I’ve been falling into this trap the past couple of years, and you know what? I’ve been getting sick every January with a bad cold and fever. I also experience achy, painful joints and irritability for the rest of winter. At that point, it’s so hard to get back on track with my health.  That’s why this year I’m fully committed to not falling into the mindset/excuse of The Holidays.
    Because:
    • The Holidays are actually only a few days total
    • I recognize that it’s a cold, dark time of year and I will be tempted to comfort myself with food, caffeine, and alcohol. I need to plan ahead and take care of myself in better ways.
    • I’ll keep my immune system strong so I don’t get sick
    • I will feel energized so I can help my patients
    • I can start the new year with new exciting goals, not the same old “drink less, eat less, work out more” snore fest
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and the traditions. I think they will be even sweeter when I enjoy them fully the day of, and not use them as an excuse for two months of unhealthy living.

    Tips for Ending the Year Strong

    What were your goals for the year? Why did you choose those? What can you do in these next two months to end the year strong and proud of your accomplishments?
    Here are some tips for ending the year strong.
    • Read or say affirmations in the morning. I have some printed out on my fridge, so I read them while I’m making coffee or tea in the morning. Think of what you’d like to experience more of in your life, and create an affirmation for that. Here are some affirmations I stole from the internet:
      • I easily adapt to any situation.
      • My love for those around me is unconditional.
      • I grant space for real rest.
      • I see little miracles everywhere.
    • Actively rest and restore yourself with breathing exercises. If you’re drained and stressed, you are going to drain and stress those around you. Likewise, if you’re around people more drained and stressed than you, you will be even more drained and stressed around them. Since we can’t live in a bubble, it’s up to us to take care of ourselves and boost up our reserves. That way, we can feel good and other people will feel better around us. Trust me, this requires a daily practice. I’ve included a simple exercise at the end of this post.
    • Get your daily glow.  Exercise every day. Yoga, pilates, cycling, jogging, brisk walking (you need to perspire a bit) are all great options.
    • Don’t live on comfort foods. Keep comfort foods a treat, or find really healthy versions of them. Aim for 5-7 servings of vegetables a day.

    Simple Breathing Exercise

    A simple breathing exercise is breathing like the ocean. Inhale and feel your belly expand. Listen to your breath flow in…doesn’t it sound like the tide pulling on to the shore? Exhale and let your belly relax towards your spine. Hear it like the ocean going back out to sea. Just like the waves on the shore, your breath flows continuously and rhythmically. Start with a 5 minute practice twice a day, and increase to 15 minutes over time.