Introduction from Alana:
For so many people, the “holiday season” brings with it a mix of emotions ranging from delightful to dreadful. With that as the backdrop, I reached out to my friend, Alicia Poole, to ask her to share some advice for managing through this time of year. Alicia is a dynamic marketing and brand-building guru turned Certified Health Coach. After 15 years working in the corporate world for brands like Red Bull and AMC, she escaped to New York City to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2009, and her passion for improving the health of America began. Alicia’s mission is to inspire others to seek a balanced life, so they can thrive instead of survive. Her focus is on choosing food, fitness, relationships, thoughts and fun that energize life, knowing that we are all uniquely perfect. She is in her element around corporate wellness, celiac and food intolerance, balance retreats and workshops. Alicia loves growing food, cooking at home, supporting working moms with meal planning, drinking green juice, hiking and showing some big love to her two boys. You can reach Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org, http://lifeequals.com/pages/the-team or aliciapoole.com.
Guest Post from Alicia Poole:
For me, October 31st is the start of the holiday season rat race that doesn’t end until the kids go back to school in January. That’s a long time to be in “fight or flight” mode, which is common for many moms who put so much on their plates during the holidays. So how do you change “fight or flight” to “flow and fun”? Don’t laugh! It is possible. If you are thoughtful and intentional with how you move through the season, you will find yourself whole and happy come January 1.
Check out the list of ideas below and see what resonates with you. Add one or all of the following into your routine and you will feel the natural flow of fun and cheer that advertising campaigns start promoting the minute you arrive home from trick-or-treating.
- Create a vision board to keep you focused on your goals for surviving the holidays. Let your creativity flow, and you can post the end product in a location where it is top of mind. When that ‘OMG—I’m going–to-lose –it’ moment happens, you can breathe and look at your vision board to keep you grounded. Check it out at: http://www.elizabethrider.com/?s=vision+board
- Embrace Minimalism and a less is more mindset. If you do what you have always done, you will get the same results. Try a simple approach with tree decorating or with menu planning. Ask for help from your kids or family members. Often times we assume people expect or want certain traditions, when in fact it is our own resistance to change. Find freedom and pleasure in simplicity. For more ideas go to www.becomingminimalist.com/becoming-minimalist-start-here/
- Sleep is a cornerstone to good health and to managing stress. Are you setting yourself up for a successful night of sleep? Your immune system thanks you (and your family). For ideas go to greatist.com/happiness/27-easy-ways-sleep-better-tonight
- Turn up the nutrition dial. Eat less processed foods, caffeine and sugar and add more dark leafy greens, whole foods, green teas and high quality supplements into your diet. Now is not the time to skip taking your multi vitamin. Load up on the good stuff. Go green!
- Practice mindfulness by starting each day with a thought of gratitude. Continue to look for opportunities to be present in everyday activities. Meditation is also a great way to manage stress and keep calm. Don’t know how to meditate? It can be as easy as taking 5 minutes to sit still, close your eyes, breathe and allow your thoughts to flow in, say ‘hello’, then let them go. My favorite meditation tutorial is headspace.com. Enjoy!
Here’s my personal list for flowing through the holiday season. I invite you to make your own or adopt mine.
- Remove “I should” from my vocabulary
- Add dark leafy greens into my daily diet
- Set a bedtime alarm
- Find beauty in seemingly normal moments
- Create a vision board