The never-ending festivities we call the holiday season can feel more like chaos than celebration. And though it may be easiest to put yourself in autopilot and power through, this will only leave you feeling over-worked, over-stressed and over-looked. Stay true to your heart and set yourself up for happier, healthier holidays!
We think with our minds and feel with our hearts. It’s easy to forget this rather simple concept when we’re scouring stores for last-minute presents or cooking one family feast after another. But our feelings are our guide through life, telling us what feels right and — more importantly — when something is a little off. Reconnect with your feelings (aka your heart) by setting priorities, setting barriers and setting aside some “me” time.
Set priorities — Dig deep into your heart and determine what matters most to you. Is it your relationship? Your career? Your family? Your health? Literally make a list in order of importance and then divvy up your time accordingly. If family comes first, leave the office right at 5-o-clock and hurry home to be with them. When health is top priority, plan to spend at least an hour exercising at some point during your day.
Set barriers — Repeat after me: it is OK to say NO. You have the freedom to live your life. Never fold for someone else’s ideas of how you should think, act or be. People may try to change you, but don’t let them. By setting limits to how much you’ll compromise, learning to say ‘no’ when you need to and making decisions from the heart, you’ll establish an unshakable foundation.
Set aside time — Whether it be five minutes or 50, I urge you to schedule downtime. Even if you just sit on the floor for a minute, you’ll feel the powerful affects of being still. Enhance the experience by lighting a candle or aromatic incense. This peaceful ritual should become a part of your weekly (if not daily) routine to help keep you connected to your heart. With an open heart, the feelings naturally flow.
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Live Wire.