Yes the holiday season is here again, time to enjoy festive gatherings with family and friends and give thanks. It is a time of year that I look forward to, revisiting favorite traditions and incorporating the new.
During this past year many positive changes have occurred in my overall health. As the holiday season approached last year, I was unable to partake in most of my favorite holiday activities. It was hard to move around, especially during the cold days without having an asthma attack. Ice skating and walks in the snow were out of the question. Going to gatherings was stressful as conversation provoked deep breathing and another asthma attack. I was at an all time low, not able to sleep, both physically and mentally exhausted. A few weeks prior to Thanksgiving I started the Buteyko Method and Lifestyle course with Thomas and Sasha Yakovlev-Fredricksen founders and directors of Buteyko Center USA. Although I probably wouldn't have chosen to start my healing journey during the holiday season I am grateful that I did. I can't say it was easy, but the focus and effort I have put into this journey along with the unsurpassed support from Thomas and Sasha have given me much to be thankful for.
The holiday season can be a very challenging time of year, stressful on many levels with plenty of opportunity to sabotage our attempts at building health. There seem to be great quantities of fatty, salty and over processed foods, parties, and cocktails at every turn. Overeating is often a status symbol for a good gathering with serious side effects. Instead of buying into the "over the top" holiday celebration decide to choose what supports you in reaching your goals for better health. Lovingly respect where you are in the process of healing. It also doesn't hurt to have a plan.
Here are a few guidelines to consider;
- Keep meals SIMPLE, whole grains and vegetables, are a perfect combination.
- Do notovereat; eat a little less than you want. Overeating can negatively impact breathing.
- Go very easy if you drink alcoholic beverages. You may notice a greater impact with a lesser amount.
- Set aside the time you need to continue with your breathing practice…make it a priority.
- Plan in relaxation and time to unwind, meditation, visualization, listening to calming music or chanting can promote slow and healthy breathing.
- Substitute caffeinated beverages for something that supporst calm and relaxed breathing. Try a cozy mug of herbal tea or warm cider.
- When planning holiday meals look to the natural world and your local farms for inspiration; apples, pears, root vegetables, dark leafy greens and whatever is in season where you live. Let these health giving foods be the basis of your celebration.
- It is easy to get caught up in the “sugar time” season. Be conscious of what kind of sugar and how much you are eating, nibble consciously!
- Pay attention to who and what effects your breath
Breathe less, relax and be present to the true pleasures ofthe season-family, friends, the bounty of our lives and how good it feels to be on the path to better health!
Happy and healthy Thanksgiving!