Thanksgiving is the gateway to the holiday season and all its attendant wonderful, magical, chaotic moments. Hoping for more “wonderful and magical” this year and less “chaotic”, we asked our wellness expert, Dr. Kate Naumes ND, to share her prescription for managing stress, staying energized, and (most important) maintaining our sanity during the holidays.
Here’s what she had to say…
Managing stress is one of the most important things you can do for the health and well-being of yourself and your family. My #1 tip is to take on less! Keep life simple and don’t compare yourself to others. The fall and winter are a darker, slower times for rest and reflection; the holidays should be enjoyable and relaxing.
Tips for keeping life simple:
- Take time for introspection and give children a break from activities, research shows that unstructured play time is vital to development and creativity.
- You can stay stylish and keep it simple with a mom “uniform.” Or build your wardrobe around a simple color palette so that everything you pull out of your closet already matches. (Your husband will appreciate the break from having to be your stylist.)
- Learn to say no to holiday parties and get-togethers that don’t bring you and your family joy and peace and that aren’t true obligations.
Ok, so you’re just going to have a busy fall and holiday season… no way around it. What can you do to stay energized and sane? How can you manage your stress?
Tips for staying sane & energized:
- Stopping for 3-5 minutes of deep breathing is something you can do for yourself at anytime. Try it in bed at night before you fall asleep.
- Put a long bath on your weekly calendar in the evening after the kids go to bed. No need to go crazy on Calgon “take me away” and other gimmicky and potentially toxic products. A simple inexpensive epsom salt bath will help you relax your muscles.
- Before bed, look at books, not TVs/computers/iPhones. Sometimes it feels like the last hour of the day is the only time to catch up on last week’s episode of Project Runway. But, it is now thought that staring at light-emitting screens during the hour before going to sleep inhibits the proper release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s natural sleep cycles. Getting enough quality sleep will definitely help you cope with stress triggers in a successful way.
- Although your schedule might get busy, don’t forget the importance of wholesome family meals. If you can’t prepare a full sit down meal, try these easy, but healthy organic finger foods.
- Exercise regularly to keep you energized and keep your mood in check.
- Retire Ke$ha until at least the new year. In the evenings, we listen to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports religiously to calm down and prepare for bed. A calm pre-bedtime routine is especially important for all.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. When she’s not spending time with her family, she’s counseling her clients about creative and tangible ways to manage stress in pursuit of optimal wellbeing. She also provides pre-conception and infertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness care, as well as ongoing well-woman and menopause support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.