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Here we are, the 2016 Holiday season quickly approaches.  All of a sudden it is rushing around to shop, bake, host, and travel. While we all would love a warm and cheerful season, that’s not always the case.

Routines are thrown off, stress piles up, and sugary foods fill our guts.  And then there is the stress of coordinating plans with whom and where, and what to bring, and then there’s that crazy aunt (don’t we all have one?).  It can all get overwhelming, but here are five tips to make wellness part of your holiday season!

Learn to Say No

Save yourself from the anxiety and from raising your blood pressure just by simply learning to say no.  You can’t be everywhere and please everyone (I know, I’ve tried!). Holiday’s should not be centered around obligations, so stop inviting that stress into your life.  Most often times, stress is something we choose whether intentional or not, and it takes learning new habits and breaking old ones to stop choosing it.

For example, one strict boundary I have to not run all over God’s green earth, is that I’m not going anywhere (nor is anyone coming over) before 1 pm on Christmas Day, no exceptions.  People can get cranky if they want, but it’s a boundary I set.  Christmas is sacred, therefor I respect it as so and refuse to stress to fit myself into the schedule of others.

Alexander Chang-Reavis (pictured below) started declining invitations a long time ago to avoid any added stress over the holidays.  Stress can be a choice, so just don’t over commit.  It is ok to say no!

“The stress that can occur isn’t actual stress. It isn’t something beyond our control. You choose to stretch yourself thin during this time of year, and frankly I think that is, at best, silly that people continue to do this year after year.”– Alexander

Learn how to establish boundaries and take control over your life, and enjoy your holidays!  The book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is a great start. And let me tell you it is FREEING and wish I read it years ago.

Alexander Chang-Reavis, instructor for CycleBAR, Seven Sculpt, and yoga.

Alexander Chang-Reavis, instructor for CycleBAR, Seven Sculpt, and yoga.

 

 ‘Merrier’ Friends!

Choose positive ways to reduce stress to have a great impact on your wellness.  Surround yourself with people that you love that are uplifting and inspiring.  Hang out with positive people and sign up for a group fitness class to meet more like-minded folk.  The holiday’s can be lovely but not for everyone.

Don’t let yourself be lonely, instead meet with those that care about their health and wellness.  Sign up for group fitness classes, laugh, have a little fun, sweat off some stress, and don’t wait til after the holidays to do it.  Positive people are always around, you just need to show up! Once you get started, you won’t want to miss.

Rather than thinking of fitness when it is convenient, it should be thought of as a lifestyle and it’s important to have people around you that think this way as well. Surrounding yourself around people in a group fitness class is a great way to stay accountable and connected in the midst of the insanity of the holidays and madness of life in general. Once you get connected to class for example Hip Hop Fitness in which I teach, you start rearranging your schedule around your classes and wouldn’t dare missing them because it becomes a priority that you just love so much!”- Alisha 
Alisha Allicock, Hip Hop Fitness Instructor, Dance Choreographer and nationally photographed Fitness Wear Model

Alisha Allicock, Hip Hop Fitness Instructor, Dance Choreographer and nationally photographed Fitness Wear Model

 

Turn Stress into Energy

Channel your stress into a workout.  Sure, it may not fix worrying about overcooking a turkey or dreading sitting at a table with someone eagerly waiting to debate politics (again set boundaries!), but a quick workout may help blow some steam help you feel less tense. Try 20 minutes of HIIT of your choice if you just need something quick or a group class. It will help you walk away feeling stronger physically and mentally.

 

We release chemicals in the brain that helps us to feel good, combat stress and stay resilient. These chemicals can linger for up to 72 hours after certain workouts. And finally, group fitness classes are fun, make people laugh and allow us to get our mind off of other things for a while. This can be a helpful channel to help us keep our mindset clear and step away from stressful things for a while. When we return, we have had an increase in oxygen to the brain – and so we tend to be able to think more clearly and make more confident decisions.
-Julie Wilkes, Author of The 7 Life Miracles, and Owner of Seven Studios in Columbus, Ohio

Julie Wilkes, IG @yogaonthego

Julie Wilkes, IG @yogaonthego

Inhale, Exhale ahhhhhhhhhh

 

Before you rush out that door to stress over shopping, baking, hosting, other tasks, and dealing with the crazy aunt, it is important to take time to unwind and reset your mind.

Make sure you to do things that bring life and calmness to you.  Whether it’s yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, prayer, devotions, or a massage; don’t skip it.  Your mind, body, and the people around you will be thankful and refreshed that you did!

 

Bring Your Own Treat

Bring your own healthy flare to the party.  People will be impressed to find something that tastes delicious plus has quality nutrition!  I personally aim for the protein and vegetables first, so I don’t overdo the carbs and sweets.  Then have a little something amazing after! (Read 6 Ways Protein Will Make You Sexier).

Here are some yummy impressive ones to try!

 

With these 5 tips into play, you are on your way to enjoying wellness as part of your holiday season!  Don’t put it off til the new year again, just take small steps each day towards your own goals.

What are other ways you include wellness into yours?  Please let me know in the comments below!

 

*** Coming Soon! ***

In the process of building an online shop full of inspirational, motivational, and fitness gifts just in time for Black Friday!  Will be perfect to save yourself from more stress and time, perfect gifts for the health and fitness minded, and also support a small business at the same time!  Please be sure to subscribe and I can’t wait to share gifts that will make others smile, feel inspired, thought of, and loved!

One of the ways we can about make more change in our nation and community is by supporting small businesses, read my full post here

bailey 1Hi! I'm Bailey! I am a national athlete in two sports, passionate about natural living, and even more passionate about getting and giving the MOST out of this short life. I massage, coach, compete, and share all my secrets here. Enjoy!

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