Happy Healthy Holiday

Let me wish you a happy healthy holiday!

Here it is, the end of 2019 and we’re in the midst of holiday fervor. I hope you’re enjoying time with family and friends and reaping the benefits of your year-long efforts to be fit and strong.

We are having a different kind of Christmas this year and I am getting to see my sister, nephew, and two grand nieces, as well as my parents, brother, and son and his fiancée. I don’t often spend the holidays with all of them so it’s a treat.

This year has been a challenge for me, health-wise. I didn’t realize until this December just how much pain and discomfort I’ve been in. I’ll save that discussion for the Fit Strong Women Over 50 podcast and probably a future blog post. So, I’ve gone into this holiday being grateful that I can celebrate it and hoping to be able to continue working on improving my health.

I also find myself growing melancholy around this time of year. I miss my husband and I miss our Christmas traditions. So, I try to avoid that by planning new traditions and spending time with family but those moments of grief still creep in.

Most of us don’t get to be 50 or older and not have people we miss and traditions that have changed. And I know most of us have spent the year working on ourselves, as well as caring for others.

Happy Healthy Holiday

So, here’s a few thoughts on how to have a happy healthy holiday.

Enjoy. Don’t abstain from all treats but don’t feel compelled to overindulge either. We say this a lot, I know, but I think it’s good advice. If you love your aunt’s homemade fudge, have a piece. Enjoy it. Savor it and then maybe pass on the store bought candy. Now, if you know that eating one piece of fudge will send you into a candy-eating frenzy, perhaps pass on the fudge and enjoy a different treat.

Exchange gifts. At first I suggested to my brother that we not exchange gifts this year and then I thought, he does so much for our family, I want to give him a gift. I don’t really care if he gives me one but I definitely want to acknowledge all that he does. If the person you want to give to really doesn’t need or want anything, make a donation in their name to a cause that they like. For example, make a donation to a local animal shelter if that’s what your friend or family member really cares about.

Consider giving events or experiences to people, instead of stuff. If someone needs an item, certainly that makes a great gift. Many of us, though, don’t really need anything so perhaps a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant works. Movie passes are a great gift, I think. A family with children would appreciate a membership to the local zoo.

Thank people. There are ways to give to people without buying a gift. Perhaps you share some of the cookies that your friend gave you with your elderly neighbor. Perhaps give a card to someone who has helped you out over the year. Even just saying thank you to someone is good.

Enjoy yourself. Haul everyone off to look at Christmas lights or watch a favorite holiday movie. For that matter, go to the movie theater and treat yourself to a night out.

Don’t forget to exercise! If you’re traveling or hosting family, your schedule may not allow you to make it to the gym or your regular yoga class. That doesn’t mean you should completely forget your exercise. Get in a long walk. If you’re traveling, perhaps check out the hotel’s fitness center or, if you’re visiting family, go with them to their gym. Call a gym, yoga studio or YMCA and ask about using the facility for the time that you’re visiting. You can always do some body weight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and that kind of thing.

The important thing is to take care of yourself, acknowledge your feelings, and enjoy your holidays.

I’m enjoying my time with family and hope that you do too.

Have a happy healthy holiday!

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