Read Labels - It's very easy to just breeze through grocery store aisles picking up the same old stuff you've used for years to make the same dishes that are go-to crowd pleasers. For me, it's always Sweet Potato Casserole. But don't forget to read the food labels and search for those 3 things you MUST avoid: Artificial, Hydrogenated, and Modified. Chances are that you will have to do some extra searching and reading. You may even find that no products meet your criteria. When this happens celebrate the chance to get creative and come up with a way to make your recipe still awesome and delicious, but also considerably healthier. A win/win for everyone.
Sneak in a Walk - Feeling bogged down by the titanic-sized turkey and masses of side dishes? That's the perfect time to get up and go for a walk. Even a short 20 minute jaunt around the neighborhood improves blood flow and stimulates digestion. The fresh air refreshes your energy levels and boosts your mindset. You'll find yourself having far less digestive upset and not suffer from the same post-meal fatigue that engulfs us this time of year. It might not be the most fun thing when you first think of it, but once you get going you'll find the results are well worth it.
Take some "Me" time - Schedules this time of year are crazy! We have 4 Christmas parties in just over a week ourselves and know many people who make that look a wide open schedule. During the hustle and bustle most have a tendency to not treat themselves to some down time. Between shopping, cooking, preparing, partying, cleaning, and repeating this again and again there doesn't seem to be time for all that. Give yourself just a few minutes, even five is great, where you sit down or decorate the tree with a cup of something warm to drink. Play your favorite music, get in the spirit, and just chill. It's a shame that this is the time of year most people experience the highest levels of depression. Kindness shown to yourself through a little "me" time is a major way to combat that.
Give & Receive - I can still remember when giving actually became more fun the getting. And over time, I found myself getting kind of bad at receiving. My gratefulness didn't show through. Big mistake. While you give, be open to receiving the good that comes from your giving. Whether it's an exchange with your family, giving to an organization like Toys for Tots, or dropping change in the bucket for Salvation Army, allow yourself to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing something positive. Be open to receiving gifts from others who appreciate you and say so. That brings the joy of the season full circle. And there's no limit on how much love can go around.