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The first wealth is health.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of celebration and positive emotions such as happiness, gratitude, and high spirits. However, for those who lack time, money, or become caught up in the excesses of the season, this time of year may be quite stressful.

Sanoviv Medical Institute offers the following tips for staying happy and healthy this holiday season:

1. Be grateful.  holiday gratitude

Start each day thinking about those things for which you are grateful. Acknowledge the blessings in your life, even if you are experiencing difficult times.

2. Breathe your way through stressful situations.

Try this 1-minute breathing exercise daily to help you slow down, boost energy, and oxygenate your blood:

exercising during the holidays

  • Inhale to a count of two; exhale to a count of two,
  • Inhale to a count of two; exhale to a count of three,
  • Inhale to a count of two; exhale to a count of four,
  • Inhale to a count of two; exhale to count of five and repeat this breathing sequence a few more times before returning to normal breathing.

3. Make time for exercise.

Even if you do not have time for your regular exercise routine, a short 10-15 minute walk in nature each morning can help quiet your mind, improve blood circulation, and start the day with clarity and focus.

4. Start holiday shopping early and stick to a budget.totally lost it

Instead of buying a gift for each person in the family, consider drawing names, with each person listing a few desired items within a specific price range. This can simplify giving by providing a gift that is truly wanted and keeps you within your budget.

5. Consider healthy food items for small gifts.

Jars wrapped for gifts of nuts and mustard.Show that you are health conscious by giving a food item with a note about why it is healthy. Wrap the item with decorative paper, bows, and food tins. These are great gifts to have handy, especially when you need to give an “unexpected” gift. You may have to do some research, but that shows your commitment to health. Here are a few ideas:

  • Organic dark chocolate bar with a note about the benefits of chocolate
    •Homemade fruit preserves loaded with antioxidants
    •Homemade dehydrated apple chips with cinnamon as a healthy snack
    •Organic coffee beans with a note about coffee’s nutritional benefits

6. Practice the power of saying “no.”stress on a ball

Participate in activities or events that you enjoy and decline others. The word no is extremely liberating. While you may be tempted to say yes to every invitation you will enjoy the events more if you choose the ones that are closest to your heart.

7. Eat well.

Nutritious eating is a powerful way to ensure your body’s ability to handle stress. Enjoy some holiday treats, but be sure to eat plenty of whole foods each day. Strive for high quality ingredients in your traditional recipes. Plan a liquid only day with plenty of fresh vegetable juices after a major food event to balance overall intake.

8. Limit alcohol intake.

healthy happy holidaysModerate amounts of alcohol may temporarily relieve stress and increase enjoyment, but research shows that alcohol can prolong stress-related tension. Alcohol consumption can also trigger overeating.

Accept that some interpersonal conflict is normal, but instead of stressing over the small things, practice forgiveness and let go of resentment. Cultivate positive holiday spirit through gratitude and strive for to move in happiness and health.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to Everyone!!!!!

Thanks for joining me in 2015.

Please pass on the information to friends and family.

See you next year.

To your health,

Leora