3 Keys to a Healthy Holiday Season
by Paul Chek
When we think of the end-of-year holidays, usually we don’t think of them as being very healthy.
For some, holidays become obligations to spend time with people who drive us nuts. For others, feelings of loneliness or disconnection may drive us to fill that void with something. For the corporate giants of the world, they use holidays as leverage to get you to spend money on stuff you really don’t need.
Instead of celebrating what Christmas was intended to be — a holy day — it has become an expensive custom attached to the socio-cultural expectations of gifts (the kind you purchase). In fact, with today’s economy as it is, many people dread the approach of Christmas.
For those with food and alcohol addictions, Christmas and New Years are times when people give themselves permission to ignore their needs and dive head-long into their wants.
To give yourself a healthy holiday season, you need to be clear on what that concept truly means.
Key 1: Prioritizing Your Health
For you to be healthy during the holiday season is to be balanced. The healthy person or athlete is someone who can efficiently change direction because he or she has the internal resources and balance to do so.
Sadly, some people’s wants so overpower their needs — anything essential to maintaining one’s health and vital wellbeing — it can take weeks, months, or even years for their bodies to recover from the holidays. Once we meet our needs, only then can our wants be supported.
A healthy body is one that functions without pain or limitations. Conversely, the healthy, balanced mind is one that can entertain many ideas, even opposing ones. The healthy soul is one that makes room for others, and to love them!
Key 2: Celebrating Holidays
However, holidays aren’t limited to the ones we celebrate at year’s end. The word holiday is the fusion of the words holy and day. Viewed in religious terms, holy means coming from God. For our purposes, holy really means whole.
Think of something that is whole as equal to, and greater than, the sum of its parts. A holiday is a whole day in which you can celebrate life as something bigger and more beautiful than the sum of its parts.
So how can you do that? First, you must take care of the garbage in your life. You may not like taking out the garbage, but if you don’t, you won’t enjoy being in your home for very long as it will start stinking and attract bugs. The act of taking out the garbage, even when you don’t like it, creates a wholeness in which you can really enjoy your home.
Likewise, if we drink, smoke and eat more than we can efficiently and effectively eliminate, we begin to smell (think stinky poop) and attract bugs! Instead of creating wholeness, abusing a holiday can be the start of a long period of misery.
Creating division is no way to celebrate a Holy day. Keeping it Holy is keeping it whole! To be whole is to be better than the parts.
Key 3: Harmonizing With the Seasons
Above all, seasons represent change. New Year’s resolutions are commitments to necessary change.
Mother Nature teaches us that all life is in a constant state of change, which is exemplified by winter, spring, summer and fall because we are truly creatures of change!
If change weren’t part of her nature, our world would be in trouble. What if snow never melted? What if it stayed hot all the time and the forests and soil dried out? What if fruit never stopped falling off trees? Can you imagine all the flies, bugs, rot and stench?
During seasonal changes, I am reminded that Mother Nature, our Mother, is flexible and adaptable to change and never dogmatic. The seasons give the gift of a variety of weather environments that favor different biological rhythms and activities.
In summer, we hike and bike on ski trails, and, in the winter, we ski on them. During the summer, we are attracted to foods with higher water content as a means of cooling our bodies. In the fall and winter months, we become more drawn to foods filled with fats, protein and carbohydrates, which help keep us warm and insulated.
If you don’t adjust your dietary needs to your body’s instincts, which are driven by seasonal influences, you will have a far more difficult time adapting to change and are far more likely to become obese and sick!
Choosing how you enjoy a healthy, holiday season is up to you. Spent wisely, holidays serve as reminders:
To reconnect to our instincts.
To rekindle our relationships.
To be willing to change.
To allow the totality of you to adapt and harmonize effectively.
Choose Balance This Holiday Season
Enjoy a healthy holiday season by making your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs top priorities before your wants! In this way, you can truly experience Holy days as they were meant to be.
I use holidays as reminders to attend to my personal needs, knowing that they are best harmonized with Nature’s needs.
My priority is to maintain a healthy balanced body, mind and spirit so that every day is a holy day. I nurture my relationships with the awareness that they are mine.
I welcome seasonal changes by eating foods that grow during that specific time of year. During the winter season, I go to bed earlier because of decreased sunlight, and spend more time in quiet introspection.
That said, I sincerely wish all of you a Healthy (balanced) Holiday (whole) Season (period of necessary change)!
Love and chi,
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