22 Dec 2015   Shanti Gowans
The festive season can be a time of great fun and celebration, especially when you spend time relaxing and rejuvenating and catching up with loved ones and friends. It can be time spent doing what you love the most, simultaneously creating joy and happiness for all those around you.
On the other hand, for many people, the festive season can be more stressful than joyful. It can become a two- week triathlon, testing ones physical, mental and emotional endurance.
For some it is spent feeling obligated and divided between whom they think they should be spending their time, whilst others endure feelings of great aloneness or separation. Both experiences often lead to increased levels of stress, depression and or anxiety, that result in default coping mechanisms, such as the over consumption of food, alcohol and-or drugs, to fill the void or escape the discomfort of their feelings. 
Meanwhile corporate giants manipulate the holiday season as an opportunity to leverage between a human being's natural nature to want to 'give', to pulling on the emotional strings of guilt spending, leading many to spend beyond their means, and increasing the burden of financial stress.
So here are some thoughts to creating an experience of 'Festive health' and a 'Stress Free' zone this holiday season
Be clear on what you wish to experience this holiday (and in life!). Write a list of things you would like to spend time doing this holiday that would make your heart sing. It could include:
  • Reading those books still sitting beside your bed.
  • Taking an afternoon nap everyday.
  • Catching up with friends you haven’t had time for.
  • Spending time in nature, walking or swimming.
What ever it is make a list. And remember, the ego is well trained in creating any number of justifiable distractions to keep you from valuing and meeting your own needs first!
Meet your needs before your wants.
This will help you to create balance and harmony in all your choices. You can manage the temptation to over indulge by simply making sure that you meet your body’s basic physical needs first, before meeting your wants. 
Once your basic needs are met, through providing yourself with enough: quality water, quality unprocessed food, adequate movement, rest and quiet time, then your wants and desires can be more easily managed.
A few practical examples of meeting your body’s basic needs could include:
  • Start the day with a breakfast that consists of all three macronutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates to balance blood sugar levels during the day. A good example are eggs (cooked to your liking) with some sautéed mushroom and steamed vegetables; or Rolled oats, nut butter and a banana.
  • Drink adequate amounts of water to keep you hydrated.  
  • Go for a walk or exercise during the day to support your metabolism and circulation.
  • Honour yourself with some quiet, ' just me' time. Yoga, meditation, just a walk alone in nature can quieten the monkey chatter and ground you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. If you are around family and friends that drink, then know that they would be best served if they avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and if they consume a piece of cheese or raw nuts before hand, and inbetween, and also have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink
Often our commitment and diligence to meeting the body’s basic needs is lost in the busyness of the holiday season, leaving you susceptible to increased cravings for what ever your weakness is, and before you know it, you’ve tipped the scales the other way and the slippery slop spirals out of control from there.
However, a body that is well hydrated, nourished with wholesome food and given the time to rest is less likely to crave an excess of sugar, processed food, coffee and alcohol or even recreational drugs.
Value 'me' time as equally as important as time spent with others
Over committing yourself can create stress and anxiety. Take the time out to give back to yourself. This is the most effective and empowering way to provide your self with the energy to give back to others.
With that said, we wish you a fun filled festive holiday. Pplease feel free to share our emails with friends and loved ones vie email and your social platforms.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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