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Navigating the end of the year with intention
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Navigating the end of the year with intention

How to thrive (not just survive) the rest of the year.

Here we are. In that uniquely strange period of December when holiday mode engages and time seems to both speed up and slow down. Don't just wait out the rest of the year! Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help you navigate the end of 2023 with care and intention. Let’s dive in!

DO: Take care of your health and nutrition

During the holiday season, it's easy to indulge in sweet treats, more alcohol than usual, and abandon our healthy habits. However, it's important to prioritize our health and nutrition. Here are some ways to do so:

Cook with seasonal, whole foods: Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals to support your immune system and overall well-being.

Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining good health. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water (especially alongside the extra alcohol) per day to stay hydrated and support proper bodily functions.

Everything in moderation: It's fine to enjoy the festive treats (in fact, we encourage it!), but be mindful of portion sizes. Practice moderation and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.

Regular exercise or mindful movement: Make time for physical activity, whether it's going for a walk, practicing yoga, or rockin’ around the Christmas tree. Exercise not only keeps you physically fit but also reduces stress and boosts your mood.

DON'T: Overthink work

The holiday season is a time to disconnect from work-related thoughts and fully embrace the spirit of the season. Here's why it's important not to overthink work:

Embrace relaxation and quality time: Instead checking your inbox constantly, focus on relaxing and spending quality time with your loved ones. Allow yourself to fully unwind and be present in the moment.

Recharge and reset: Taking a break from work allows your mind and body to recharge. This can lead to increased productivity and creativity when you return to work. Give yourself permission to step away and come back refreshed.

Create memories: The holiday season offers an opportunity to create cherished memories with your loved ones. By shifting your focus away from work, you can fully engage in festive activities, deepen your connections, and make lasting memories.

DO: Engage in mindful practices

Mindful practices can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance overall well-being. Here are some practices you can incorporate into your routine:

Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing helps activate the body's relaxation response, reducing stress and anxiety. Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Meditation: Set aside time each day to meditate. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and focus your attention on your breath, a mantra, or a guided meditation. Meditation can help calm the mind, improve concentration, and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Yoga or mindful movement: Engaging in yoga or other mindful movement practices can help improve flexibility, strength, and balance. These practices also help quiet the mind, increase body awareness, and enhance overall well-being.

DON'T: Neglect your self-care routine

Self-care is essential for maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It's important not to neglect your self-care routine during the holiday season. Here's why:

Prioritize your well-being: Taking care of yourself should always be a priority. Self-care activities such as taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, or practicing a hobby can help reduce stress, increase relaxation, and boost your overall happiness.

Maintain your self-care rituals: Stick to your regular self-care routine, whether it's practicing skincare, getting enough sleep, or taking your daily dose of HANAH ONE. These rituals can provide a sense of normalcy and stability during the holiday season.

Nurture your body and mind: Self-care is not selfish; it is an act of self-love and self-preservation. By prioritizing self-care, you are ensuring that you have the physical and mental energy to fully enjoy the holiday season and be there for others.

DO: Make time for joyful activities

The holiday season should be filled with moments of joy, shared with loved ones. Here's why it's important to make time for joyful activities:

Celebrate the season: Engaging in festive activities such as decorating your home and baking holiday treats can be surprisingly beneficial for your well-being. Decorating can be a form of light exercise, contributing to physical activity, while the act of baking can provide a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Create memories: The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to enhance your mental and emotional health by creating lasting memories with loved ones. Studies show that positive social interactions and meaningful connections have a direct impact on mental well-being, reducing stress and promoting a sense of happiness.

Boost your mood: Delving into the magic of the holidays with things like classic music and movies is more than just entertainment—it's a mood-boosting activity. Laughter and singing can release endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers. This positive effect contributes to an improved overall mood and supports your mental health during the festive season.

DON'T: Compare yourself to others

One of the biggest traps during the holiday season is comparing ourselves to others. Here's why it's important to avoid comparison:

Celebrate your uniqueness: Your journey and experiences are unique to you. Embrace who you are and focus on your own joys and accomplishments. Comparing yourself to others only leads to unnecessary stress and discontentment.

Practice self-acceptance: Accept yourself as you are, without judgment or the need for validation from others. Embrace your strengths, acknowledge your achievements, and be kind to yourself.

Focus on gratitude: Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on gratitude for what you have. Cultivate a mindset of gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in your life. This can shift your perspective toward positivity and contentment.

Find inspiration, not comparison: Instead of comparing yourself to others, seek inspiration from them. Allow others' successes and achievements to inspire and motivate you to reach your own goals.

DO: Connect with loved ones

The holiday season is all about connection and spending quality time with the people we care about. Here are some ways to foster those meaningful connections:

Reach out to loved ones: Make an effort to connect with your family and friends, whether it's through phone calls, video chats, or in-person gatherings (if it is safe to do so). Reaching out and showing that you care can strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.

Plan activities together: Organize activities that you can enjoy with your loved ones. This could be anything from cooking a holiday meal together, playing games, or going for a walk to enjoy the festive decorations. These shared experiences can bring joy and deepen your bond.

Express gratitude and appreciation: Take the time to express your love, gratitude, and appreciation for your loved ones. Let them know how much they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Small gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness can go a long way.

DON'T: Overextend yourself

The holiday season can be overwhelming with social obligations, gatherings, and to-do lists. Avoid overextending yourself and prioritize your well-being. Here's why it's important:

Set boundaries: Learn to say no and prioritize self-care. It's okay to decline invitations or politely limit your commitments if they will leave you feeling stressed or drained. Setting boundaries allows you to make time for yourself and maintain a healthy balance.

Manage your to-do list: Be mindful of your time and energy. Prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones. Delegate or ask for help if needed. Remember, it's okay if everything doesn't get done perfectly. Avoid unnecessary stress by simplifying and prioritizing.

As we navigate the end of December, don’t rush into the New Year with reckless abandon–let's get the most out of every day and prioritize our holistic self-care. By taking care of our health and well-being, we can truly embrace the magic and joy of the holiday season and enter 2024 feeling our best. Here's to a December filled with holistic wellness, joyful moments, and a renewed sense of self-care.

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