Over the years I have been living in my Flo I have developed a way of staying relaxed, present, and stress-free. I have made this practice as much a part of my life as my eating protocol or my workout routine. All three of these lifestyle elements do feed into each other, but keeping stress at bay needs additional conscious effort if you’re to protect your hormones, your health and your well-being. You need a special self care strategy.
I think this is the perfect time of the year - the holiday season - to experiment with embracing true abundance. Everything becomes about the idea of “more is more” - more food, more gifts, more money spent - even if it makes us feel empty. It’s hard not to get sucked into the snowglobe of chaos - the endless events, the competitive gifting, the lavish meals, and constant treats. We (especially women) feel obliged to give, give, give - to catch up with all friends and family, to say yes to every invitation, to expend on time, money, and efforts to avoid feeling guilty or envious. Social media only seems to drive our FOMO feeling (fear of missing out). We start to think self-care is all about the socializing selfies!
When we put that kind of strain on our personal bandwidth we feel stretched - emotionally, mentally, and physically. All the things that keep us healthy and sane - sleep, good nutritious food, getting active - the rest of the year, immediately go out of the window. We put ourselves last - behind taking care of our to-do list and taking care of other’s needs.
Recognize that you create your experience of time
My self-care strategy is a practical extension of my yoga or meditation practice. The more time I spend with myself, the more spaciousness I create in my experience of time during the day. During the holiday season this looks like less events, less parties, less spending, less stress, more quality time, more loving connection, more thoughtful sharing.
When it comes to your biochemistry, it’s not just what you feed yourself that matters. Your whole lifestyle is tied to your health - sleeping, eating, moving, working, socializing - all that you do feedbacks to your body and can produce symptoms. The way you live your life is reflected in your body. Saying no, cutting back, reprioritizing, cleansing your life will help you to stay happy, present and stress-free. You’ll get more out of your experiences and put more back in. Your relationships, work and health will benefit from the practice of less is more. When you avoid stress, your cortisol hormone levels stay stabilized, your oxytocin levels rise, your progesterone production is pumping away and you’re ovulating, bringing all the more benefits!
Focus on what makes you feel good for family-related stress
Not over-giving emotionally can be the trickiest part of the holidays. We can reverse our spending habits, reorganize our diet, and physically stay home more often, but the holidays tend to mean spending more time with those you might otherwise choose to avoid - namely, stress-inducing family members!
My tip here is to focus on making yourself feel good! Going home for the holidays can feel like watching the same movie play over and over before your eyes - each family member plays the same part, no one deviates from the script, they’re all just walking through the steps, recreating the same drama, even having the same arguments! Recognize that you can step away from the play, and focus on what you need instead. Play a new game by changing your responses and stop trying to change anyone else’s. Base what you decide to do differently this time on the concept of what makes you feel the best. Do and say things that bring you happiness, react to hurtful or difficult behavior quite simply, as though you were still a 3rd grader at school, and with as few words as possible, “That hurt my feelings” or “I don’t like it when you say that.” Don’t hold things in, don’t get over-involved and don’t get into arguments. Prioritizing your needs emotionally and physically is guaranteed to leave you feeling good, rather than drained at the end of the season.
Enjoy more with less
“Less is more” works across the board - think of how great that first cookie tastes, but then think how flavorless the last cookie of the whole box tastes, when you’ve eaten them all in one sitting? If you say yes to a party every night, you’ll soon tire of the socializing and begin to resent the obligation. Selecting a few very special gifts for super special people is so much more rewarding than stacking up present after present for every single person in your life, however you feel about them. Next time someone says they have FOMO, tell them LIM!
Your ultimate destination for this abundance experiment in the coming months is to recognize that your value is not in what you do for other people - throwing events, buying gifts - your value is your presence. You are a vehicle for love and whenever you share those two things the experience is perfect in itself. No bells and whistles required.
Leave room for you to really, truly, utterly enjoy yourself. That’s the secret to self-care during the holiday season and beyond and of course, by keeping cortisol low, is also a great safeguard to your overall hormonal health.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, what causes you the most stress?
Second, do you feel more stress this time of year?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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