A Holiday Wellness Checklist

I can distinctly remember not being able to sleep on Christmas Eves as a kid, overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of the next morning. I used to feel sorry for all the adults that didn’t seem to have that same twinkle in their eye when looking at holiday lights, or who would cringe when Christmas music started to play. That would never happen to me.

I am not exactly sure at what point over the years I forgot my promise to myself and the excitement turned into anxiety. Maybe it was when the expenses of the holidays became my own. Maybe it was when the holidays also aligned with Q4 deadlines at work. Or maybe it was when I was too busy wrapping up last minute to do items and stopped setting out cookies for Santa the night before the big day. In any case, this year I decided to renew my promise and bring back the joy of the holidays.

In an effort to spread some of this reclaimed cheer, I created a Holiday Wellness Checklist to help you not only make it through the holidays, but actually enjoy it:

Power Down at Home
Let’s face it, there is just a lot more to do during the holidays as an adult. The demands at work and at home can start to pile up. But if you can separate the two, they can be a little easier to tackle individually. When you leave the office, make it a point to leave the work there. Once you get home, keep the laptop closed, and turn off your email notifications on your phone. Focus on family and your homelife. The work will still be there tomorrow.

Ease Up on the Sugar Cookies & Eggnog
One of the great parts about the holidays are all the sugary treats and boozy parties. While it is definitely fun to partake, be aware that excessive sugar and alcohol intake can create major crashes that leave you feeling sluggish, unproductive, and even depressed. Allow yourself certain cheat days–maybe for the big company party or your family Christmas Eve dinner. Or if you have lots of events to attend, enjoy a glass of eggnog but pass on the dessert. Just don’t use the holidays as an excuse to binge. Everything in moderation holds true even during this time of year.

Take a Holiday Walk
When you find the stress building of the in-laws coming to town or your to do list getting too long, bundle up in your favorite holiday gear and step outside. Whether a morning hike in the mountains, a sunset walk on the beach, or an evening stroll to see the Christmas lights, get your body moving, take in the beautiful sights, and appreciate the quiet of the outdoors. Even just 20 minutes can be all you need to reset and head back to the things with a renewed sense of calm.

Make a Gratitude List
The holidays often get clouded with commercials reminding us to buy more things and lists full of gifts that everyone wants. The consumerism of it all can be overwhelming. To combat this, instead of a list of all the things you want for Christmas, make a list of everything that you already have. No matter how big or small, if it is something you are grateful for, put it on the list. Clean water, warm clothes, loving friends, a favorite furry pet, mom’s delicious home cooking…it can bring you great joy to remember and recognize what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t.

These small changes in your holiday routine can make all the difference. Sometimes it might be a little harder than others, but that brings me to what might be the most important item on the holiday wellness checklist: Be kind to yourself. Learn to laugh at mishaps and not sweat the small stuff. Each new moment is a chance to try again.

Here’s to a season filled with renewed holiday joy!


A Desk Yogi Elf  

Author: Jacqui Burge

Jacqueline Burge loves to move her body. As the founder of Desk Yogi with over 20 years of experience in the fitness world, she brings years of practical skill and deep personal empathy to her teachings.

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