The holidays are upon us and it is a great reminder to give ourselves the gift of Self-love! Self-love is needed every day. But during the holidays it is even more important. Many people find themselves stressed out and taking care of others. Whether it is buying gifts, preparing meals or entertaining guests, it seems like there is so much to do. If we are not careful, we become depleted.
Ayurveda teaches that Self-love is related to ojas. Ojas is that which brings contentment and stability to the mind and body. It is our energy reserve. It is our ability to resist stress. When it becomes depleted, we open ourselves up to getting sick.
This holiday season, let’s remember just five tips to keep our ojas healthy so that we can have a happy, loving and joyful holiday.
1. Stick to your routines: Regular routines are important. A regular schedule reduces the stress in your life. Even if you can’t stick to all of them during the holidays, stick to a few key ones that nurture you. The familiarity of these routines will help you to feel more centered as you go through the holidays.
2. Eat healthy foods: During the holidays most people eat more sugar, more fat and, in general, over-indulge. While this may happen to some extent, you can reduce the degree to which it occurs by making sure you also eat healthy foods. Eating healthy foods leaves less room for unhealthy ones. So, every day, create a routine of eating two simple, healthy meals, such as oatmeal in the morning and a large plate of vegetables in the afternoon.
3. Water: During the holidays, the amount of alcohol consumed goes up dramatically. This holiday, make less room for alcohol by drinking more water. Water keeps your body clean and healthy. You’ve heard about drinking 8 glasses per day. If that is not possible, consider at least one glass of warm water every morning when you wake up. Drink a 1/2 glass of warm water with every meal and one glass before you go to bed. That’s about 3.5 glasses already. That’s a great start if you do not already drink much water. To drink more, carry a water bottle around with you and sip from it throughout the day. Make the water even healthier by adding some freshly squeezed lemon into it.
4. Relaxation practice: Every day, spend some time alone and relax. The holidays are over-stimulating. It’s important to take a break. That could be walking each day for 30 minutes by yourself. It could also be meditating for 20 minutes, or you might want to try my Yoga Nidra meditation practice. Yoga Nidra is the single best way to relax and restore your energy. Look for my CD, “Yoga Nidra and Self Healing” online and at stores.
5. Exercise: Every day, do some form of exercise. This could be a 30 minute walk, a yoga class, a visit to the gym or anything else that you like to do. Just 30 minutes a day will make an enormous difference in your well-being.
This holiday season, make sure to stay healthy. Remember, when you are healthy, you are best able to be of service to others. Taking care of yourself can be an act of selflessness!
Dr. Marc Halpern