December is undoubtedly one of my favorite months of the year. The holiday season brings so much warmth, joy and love. It’s a time to give, share, and connect in ways we don’t quite do the other eleven months of the year.
As we close in on the last 31 days of 2016, here are my goals for the month:
1. Take care of myself during the holiday hustle
I have a habit of running on empty, and when I don’t stop and rest I ALWAYS end up sick. This isn’t a habit that I’m proud of and it’s one that I’m trying to break. As we descend upon our busy holiday calendars, I need to be mindful of my needs. I still want to attend as many obligations as possible (read: FOMO), but with a new sense of balance and stricter self-inflicted boundaries. To streamline the season, I’m going to plan a handful of holiday outfits and hostess gifts in advance. This makes getting ready and out the door with a gift in hand a cinch (no last-minute liquor store runs for bottles of wine this year!). And instead of having the extra cocktail or getting suckered into staying the extra hour, I’m going to exit earlier than usual to get home for my favorite evening self-love activities: candlelit bath, abyanga, face masks, time with a good book, stretches before bed, and if I’m not too lazy, a beauty latte.
2. Daily probiotic
Probiotics heal your gut, help with metabolism, keep you from getting sick and have tremendous overall health benefits, but for whatever reason I can’t seem to stick with them. I go through phases where I’m on top of it and then go months without it. For goal #2, I’d like to fully commit to taking a daily probiotic. Added bonus, this helps with goal #1.
3. Warm meals
I met with an Ayurvedic practitioner a few weeks ago who recommended I strictly favor warm meals over cold ones in the winter months. She suggested whole foods that are rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of warming spices. She mentioned that these foods lubricate and nourish the tissues, preserve moisture and support proper digestion and elimination. I can’t fully commit to this idea—I still love a good post-workout smoothie or a big green salad at lunch—but I’m eager to make swaps when I can for the intended benefits.
4. Donate and volunteer
Last but most certainly not least, donating and volunteering is a must in our house during the holidays. Every year we clean out each cabinet in our house—from the pantry to closets—and donate, donate, donate. Instead of dropping everything off to Goodwill, I like to separate donations to give to various places. For example, pantry items go to the Westside Food Bank and clothing goes to Dress For Success, a local single mom shelter (I was raised by a single mom so this one is important to me) and lastly Goodwill.