• J.Greathouse

How to Maintain Wellness During the Holidays

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

The holidays can be a joyous time for some, but depression often looms in the background for others. This year has been especially challenging considering the ongoing pandemic. People of color have been disproportionately affected; so many are grieving the loss of loved ones, employment, and social interaction. For this reason, some can’t imagine this holiday being an enjoyable one.

On top of that, many people within the LGBTQ+ community feel increased angst when navigating family dynamics around these times. The isolation and rejection faced within the community experience on a daily basis can easily be amplified during this time. Not to mention, it can serve as a reminder of the areas in your life you don’t have love and acceptance.

As we approach this time with tenderness, I invite you to ask yourself: Where can I locate Joy in my life at this time? Is there room for presence? Can I give myself permission to be nourished? Bottom line, I would like to invite you to make a conscious effort to take care of yourself.

Below, you’ll find practical ideas for Body, Mind and Spirit for maintaining your wellness during the holiday season.

Your Body

Your physical body houses your spirit, so the way you treat it can have a direct impact on your mental and emotional health. Many of our ancestral practices like Kemetic Yoga and Tai-Chi center the benefits of movement for health. This has also been cited in more formalized structures like the American Psychological Association (APA) which found exercise is a significant variable that contributes to wellbeing. Simply staying active can reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and enhance your overall mental health.

On that note, here are a few ways you can care for your health during the holidays.

1. Mindful Eating

Food is something most people look forward to during the holiday season. While it’s great to indulge in holiday foods, be careful not to do so at the risk of your health. Overeating and unhealthy eating habits can affect how you feel on the inside.

Some unpleasant impacts of unmindful eating:

  • Stomach expands beyond standard size (pushing against other organs)

  • Sluggishness

  • Fatigue

  • Changes in body

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Increase of depressive episodes

  • Increase in anxiety

2. Stay Hydrated

With so many types of drinks to choose from during holidays, it can be easy to forget about the importance of drinking water. Seeing as staying hydrated is a way to boost your wellbeing, it’s something worth adding to the top of your priority list.

When you’re dehydrated, it throws off the dopamine and serotonin balances in your brain, which are responsible for making you feel good. However, drinking enough water can help you feel alert, refreshed and alive.

3. Get Enough Sleep

When you’re busy going from one task to another, sleep can seem like a myth. However, a lack of sleep can lead to burnout and fatigue. When your body isn’t well rested, your immune system can become weaker, making you more vulnerable to illness. Other negative effects of sleep deprivation are mo