Avoiding a Holiday Hangover – The Twelve Days of Christmas Care

Although there is potentially more fun to be shared this Christmas season, there is also doubtlessly hard work to complete in preparation for it as well, difficult family members to love, a plentiful amount of sweets to tempt you despite your body’s desire for healthy foods, and often less sleep and exercise as well.  Unless someone is intentional, a holiday hangover of sorts is imminent.

Taking care of yourself through the holidays is not an option, it’s a call.  Remember, God commands you to love others as you love yourself (Mt 22:39), but you need to love yourself in good ways for you to be able to love others well!  Similarly, we learn in Proverbs 11:25 that, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

To help you remember to keep your head afloat and even more, to stay refreshed, here are twelve creative ways to to help you to fully enjoy the entire Christmas season!  We hope you will add your own ideas below or take these suggestions to keep yourself ready for celebrating the reason for the season.

1 –  Take time to schedule in moments to listen to your favorite Christmas carols, with a cup of hot cocoa, tea, or coffee.  Do nothing work-oriented for a half an hour, but just enjoy the rest and good music, as well as cuddles if you have a willing family member or pet!

2 – Do a Christmas Bible study today, looking for reminders of the hope and special gift of Jesus’ coming!  Peace on Earth is another important focus, and these reminders can be found in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 2:1-20, & Matthew 1 & 2.

3 – Make or purchase a cozy winter soup with healthy ingredients. For an extra memorable meal, serve it in a bread bowl with a big salad on the side.  Yum!

4 – Come up with a realistic exercise plan and commit to it. For a quick workout, try a seven-minute plan on your smartphone!  If you aren’t used to working out, walk briskly for fifteen minutes a day, even if you are talking on your phone while doing it (but only if this is the only way you can do it – otherwise, enjoy a few quiet moments)!

5 – Buy and package some one-serving portions of nuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, or raisins (or another healthy snack, such as simple protein bars) and keep them in a handy cupboard, your desk at work, and your glovebox, so when the cravings come, you have something both handy and energizing!

6 – Schedule in time this month with a friend who really refreshes you!

7 – Schedule in a date night with your spouse or significant other and if you are single, schedule a night to pamper yourself with a friend or on your own with a festive event.

8 – Visit a church for a candlelight service or special Christmas children’s program.

9 – Take a really luxuriously long shower or bath today, soaking in some suds or using extra of a favorite product.

10 – Treat yourself to a favorite reasonably priced restaurant one day this month.

11 – Enjoy a favorite TV program, favorite online or board game, or a good book, but do it marathon style, not just for 20 minutes. Enjoy an hour or more of just watching a favorite film, but make a big cozy deal of it!

12 – Write a simple Christmas list, being thoughtful about two or three things you’d really enjoy.  if you don’t have anyone to give it to, start a simple jar and plunk change in every day, writing your goals on the outside, so it will be something to look forward to.

Most of all, every time you get annoyed, take a few moments to deeply breath and remind your body that you are fine, that you are going to make it through anything, and that you are eternally grateful for each moment you have!  God bless you this Christmas season!  As always call us or write to us if this season’s dealings are too difficult to bear alone!  941-301-8420 Sarasota & Bradenton Counseling www.reflectionscc.com

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