Tips For Navigating The Holidays 

 December 2, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

The holidays are very different this year with the challenge of a pandemic, slow economy,

job layoffs, businesses closing, increased homelessness due to job loss, and uncertainty in

our government.


Now, more than ever before, we need to create our own

peaceful and centered calm in the eye of the storm.


We cannot allow our health and mental clarity to be hijacked by high drama

on the daily news or by the erratic behaviors of others.

Some stressed people tend to throw common sense to the wind and participate in

more escape-seeking activities. They tend to eat more starches, sugars and fat, drink

more alcohol, gamble, go on shopping sprees or seek escape with risky activities like

street racing in major cities across the country. When people feel upset, afraid, insecure,

confused or helpless, they make poor choices. These guidelines will help you manage

these challenges, enjoy the holidays, stay healthy, calm and focused.


Make a list of 5 things you enjoy that don’t involve eating or spending money.

When you are feeling disoriented or anxious, pull out your list and start doing some of

your favorite things. Suggestions: go for a walk, call a friend, take a warm bath, read

your favorite magazine, listen to music, read a book, etc. You add your favorites.


Make sure you eat balanced meals 3 times a day at regular times. 

Nutritional deficiencies contribute to feelings similar to depression.

Eat 3 servings of proteins, 5 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit,

1 serving of beans, 1 serving of nuts or seeds daily.

Drink hot herbal and green teas, pure water, caffeine-free and non-alcoholic

beverages to keep well hydrated. (caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating beverages.)


Cut down on intake of processed carbohydrates.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Your body needs this time to

repair cells and organs.

Science has discovered your brain washes toxins out during your sleep!

Get up and move your body! Nature walks, cycling, exercising the dog,

dancing at home to your favorite songs. Add your favorite activities.

Quiet your mind with moments of contemplation, prayer, gratitude or journaling.

Play soothing music. Focus on your breath. Sciences has found that focused

yoga breathing lowers your blood pressure, slows your heartbeat and

clears your mental focus. This breathing practice is good for anxiety,

nervousness, confusion and overwhelm.


The Breathing Practice

Breathe in slowly to the count of 6. Hold to the count of 6.

Breathe out slowly to the count of 8 (to empty your lungs).

Hold to the count of 6. Repeat.

(Over time you can increase your lung capacity by increasing the numbers.)

While doing this visualize being in a peaceful, safe place and relax.

Imagine that all your worries are melting away and all you feel is peace, calm and serenity.

This is an easy practice that only takes a few minutes and produces calming,

centering results. Enjoy!


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