Keeping the holidays in perspective

We’re not waiting for January 1 to give the gift of health, we’re starting now. This is the third in the series sharing tips and ideas that you can incorporate this season, to give the best gift – a healthy you.

When we discuss health we recognize our both physical and emotional health. While the tendency is to dismiss stress as a factor in our health,  and being told to “Just relax” typically has the reverse effect, stress has a very real impact on our physical as well as emotional health. In this post Julie shares her perspective on keeping the holidays in perspective.

No matter what your spiritual beliefs, this time of year is typically a time of celebration. Nearly a month ago we gave thanks for the gifts in our lives, and before that some of us lit clay lamps for Diwali. Just last week some of  our houses were aglow with candles eight nights in a row. Soon others of us will celebrate Kwanzaa or Christmas, or both, or neither.

Winter celebrations are about quality time with people you love, not about staying up all night to buy electronics at a big box store (though if that’s what floats your boat, who are we to judge you?) Creating genuinely enjoyable celebrations that reflect your values and feel right to you is a wonderful way to make the holidays matter, to solidify your connections with family, friends, and community.

Rachel, the resident TMC for Women blogger,  has a family tradition of having friends over for a dinner of potato leek soup and chili, and then going for a group bike ride through Winterhaven. Living in Tucson, some families enjoy a hike up Tumamoc Hill on what will likely be a sunny Christmas day, when, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, you probably won’t be working and your kids certainly won’t be in school. How wonderful to have a holiday celebration that’s meaningful, fun, and even healthy!

Other families and friends spend time doing charitable work, focusing on service and giving, rather than (or in addition to) buying and receiving material goods. Reminding ourselves of all we have to be grateful for, especially right now, when a community across the country is grieving for the loss of schoolchildren and teachers, is a way to keep things in perspective and focus on what really matters.

My husband and I like to have a picnic in the desert on New Year’s Day and talk about all that’s happened over the last year—a bit of reflection before turning our thoughts toward the year ahead. Does your family, or group of friends, have any traditions that are unique or especially meaningful?

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