This blog post started as a list of gift ideas, but most people don’t need pointers from someone who doesn’t even know who you are buying for! Thoughtful gifts are the best anyway, not the newest or most expensive things that can be easily purchased in crowded department stores alongside thousands of other strangers. As I was writing this, I noticed my recommendations were quickly becoming a list of things I’d buy to treat myself! So here’s my second try, and a more heartfelt post about giving back to yourself while you take care of others during the holidays…
I love giving gifts and seeing the joy on the recipients faces as much as I enjoy being on the receiving end. However I’m seeing more often that this is not the case for everyone. So many patients and friends I know are busy giving and taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves. While this is the season for giving and being selfless, I’d like to remind everyone that you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first! It’s even the rule on airplanes, the stewards always remind you that in case of emergency, you should put the air mask on yourself before you pass out and can’t help you child, friend, or elderly companion….
While the holiday season is mostly a joyous time with family, friends, and many celebrations and get togethers, it can be a time of high stress. We have longer to-do lists and, especially in NYC, we have more traffic and crowds to wade through. There are also those who find the holiday season to be sad or lonely instead of joyful. I usually say treat others the way you want to be treated but how many of us are nice to ourselves? Don’t wait for someone to be good to you. My all time favorite clip from a TV show – Parks and Recreation – says it best: Treat YO self!
Here are my holiday season guidelines in place of a best gifts list…
- It’s OK to say no! Honor your feelings and don’t over commit. You will not be a joyful addition to any party if you’re yawning and moping in the corner.
- Life will go on if you don’t get that “perfect gift.” This is also a great time and way to teach children that you can’t always have everything you want, and it can come later… patience is a virtue.
- Ask for help. So often people complain about having to do everything. But are you sure that the other person wouldn’t be happy to help? They just didn’t think to because they were never asked.
- Stay Nourished. And I’m not talking about cookies and alcohol at all the parties. Make an effort to eat warm, cooked vegetables and pasture-raised meats or wild caught seafood. You’ll have more energy to shop and party. You’ll also be happy you did when January 1st rolls around. I love eating at Korean places such as Won Jo (23 W 32nd St, NY NY). Korean pan chans (will go into more detail about these in my next post) are great because with all of the options, you are more likely to get every nutrient in one meal.
- If you already treat with me, you know i’m a big fan of restorative breathing (Qi gong). Take time through out the day to take take deep clean breaths that fill your lungs and spread evenly throughout your whole body.
- Sleep more. Our bodies are in overdrive trying to stay warm during these cold months. Sleep is the only time of the day when your body can repair and regenerate without all the distractions from our daily activities- looking, thinking, eating, etc.
- Get more acupuncture. Come on, you knew this was coming! But you also know it’s true. Take time to come in and allow me and Dylan to take care of your health needs. Get a boost of Qi and some balance.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!