How to Bring the Sparkle and Joy Back Into Your Holidays

Making a list and checking it twice has a whole other meaning to some of us. Despite the awe of twinkling lights and festive music during the holidays, this time of year also comes with a lot of worries and added stressors. There are the holiday parties, decorations, gifts, food, travel, and of course— emotional and financial expenses.
You may be able to relate that, this is the time of year when many of us place a great deal of importance on tradition. If you’re a grandmother, you may work tirelessly to ensure everyone’s favourite dish is made. If you’re a mother, you may try to be the perfect host and avoid the critical eye of your mother-in-law. Young adults worry over tight budgets and being able to afford gifts for their loved ones, wishing their student debt could be erased over the holidays.
We sure do a great deal to make sure that traditions are kept alive and our homes are in tip-top shape for guests and relatives. And we do all of this so that everything on the outside appears impeccable. But when all is said and done, are we really that shiny on the inside.
If all that we do, we do willingly with love, and the desire to bring happiness to those around us, why is it that we experience at times, a lack of fullness and inner peace this time of year? How can we bring that sparkle back into our souls?
Perhaps this can be explained by discrediting our own personal needs, amidst making sure everyone else is taken care of.
You see, while it’s the season of giving, we must also give to ourselves.
We skip a morning meditation because we want to get out of the house early to beat the hustle and bustle of the last-minute shoppers.  We are on the phone with a child away at school, helping them book flights back home for the holidays and miss our afternoon yoga class.
Our bodies feel tired and sluggish because we haven’t given ourselves proper nourishment. We must remember that body, mind, and soul nutrition must remain at the top of our agendas.
We best take care of others when we take good care of ourselves first.  Here’s how to prioritize your health and wellness during the holidays.

  1. Don’t Abandon Your Exercise Routine

There is always time for exercise and this is something that should be a mandatory part of your day – the Holidays are no exception to this rule!
Extended holiday store hours exist for a reason, to give people more time on top of their regular routines.
Making the time to be active during this stressful time of year will help you breeze past any unanticipated challenges or struggles that may come about. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, which fill you with positive energy. This energy will be transferred to those who are in your presence.
Perhaps you may want to try to plan a family yoga practice, early on Christmas morning before presents are opened.  This is a beautiful way to achieve mind-body balance and gratitude before the abundances are shared throughout the day.

  1. Fuel Your Body With Proper Nourishment

Holiday food is delicious and it’s wonderful to keep family traditions alive, but you also need to make sure that you’re eating the right foods for your mind-body type.
The ancient holistic health care system Ayurveda teaches us that we are all unique human beings and therefore we all have our own individual doshas; which are the manifestation of the elements in energies circulating in the body, and governing our physiological activity.
It’s easy to grab that extra sugar cookie as we run out the door or prepare a quick roast beef sandwich from yesterday’s leftovers, but now, more than ever, it’s important to ensure we eat proper foods as this affects our temperament and energy levels.

  1. Spend Time in Silence


“The Law of Pure Potentiality”, from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Dr. Deepak Chopra, tells us that we must cultivate silence.
No matter how busy your schedule may be, you can handle it!  Make sure you maintain your core practices that help you maintain balance. The practice of meditation will bring you into a state of restful awareness that can go a long way to reducing stresses. This is extremely important to do over the holidays.
Children may even wish to take part in a quiet simple walk in nature, and observe sparkly snow covered trees and animals. This is a form of meditation because it helps quiet the mind.
Now, you may be thinking… “Sure, this all sounds great, but it’s a challenge to get all of this done!”.
Here’s my recommendation to help you accomplish these practices for your well-being:

  1. 1. Find 3 mason jars, or small box containers.
  2. 2. Label them body, mind and soul.
  3. 3. Each day over the Holidays (and moving forward), drop a small piece of paper with the activity you did to nourish yourself in each of those areas that day.
  4. 4. Don’t hide your jars. Keep them out in the open! Your family will encourage you, and maybe even participate in this activity.

When you take proper care of yourself, you’ll notice the sparkle and joy come back into your holidays, and continue throughout the whole year, too.