As the holiday season approaches, it brings with it more opportunities than perhaps at any other time of the year to be together with family and friends. But for some people, it also comes with feelings of stress or trepidation over past disappointments, traumatic experiences, and loss.
Fortunately, there are ways to intentionally connect in a more fulfilling way so that your whole-person health is improved and your relationships continue thriving even once the holidays have ended. Read our blog to learn some of our most mindful tips.
How Meaningful Moments Impact Your Health
Particularly for people with complicated familial relationships or who struggle with mental or physical health issues, the holidays can be a lonely time. But, rather than giving in to what may be an instinct to isolate ourselves during the holiday season, gathering together in community provides many benefits for our overall well-being.
As you spend more intentional time with loved ones, you may experience an “Iron Sharpens Iron” benefit, which essentially refers to how we as human beings need to be loved, challenged, and encouraged by each other to be our best selves. Our unique gifting is best used, cultivated, and shared with others through interaction with those we love. That’s because when you are connected, you feel loved and cared for and that you belong, giving you a sense of security allowing you to discover a deeper meaning and create with purpose using your God-given identity.
When spending time with family over the holidays, you can encourage and support each other to eat more healthily. Making poor food choices such as foods with heavy sugar, carbohydrates, or salt or overindulging in alcohol can damage your health and leave you feeling more anxious and depressed. On the other hand, taking care of your body as much as possible will give you more energy and emotional resilience when it comes to increased activity and unmet expectations over the holidays.
Ongoing stress is known to have adverse effects, leading to fatigue, and blood pressure, and heart health problems, to name just a few. But, studies have shown that time spent with loved ones can reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a healthier lifestyle and possibly even extending your lifespan. People with stronger family relationships are also more likely to have healthier coping mechanisms for stress because of their ability to communicate with friends or family in hard times.
Impact Physical Health
Make time to do something active as a family. This could include taking a post-meal walk or a friendly game of pickup football in the yard. Putting away the devices and distractions while engaging in healthy interests together can even boost the effects of exercise and improve heart, immune, hormonal, and brain health.
The end of one year and the beginning of another is also the perfect time to think ahead about what goals you want to accomplish in the upcoming months. You can do this as a family to get support from each other and create a system of accountability for reaching the goals you have for the year.
Invest in Self-Care
Another way to get through the holidays healthily is to practice effective self-care when not with your family. This could be by reading a book, journaling, or practicing mindful prayer times. Committing to being as mentally strong as you can every day helps you feel fortified for spending time with family when those times arise.
Faithfully Guided Is Your Whole-Person Health Partner
Family is such an integral part of our humanity, but those relationships can feel complicated or stressful for some of us. Practicing these tips to connect with your family will help make the time spent together more intentional and beneficial for everyone.
At Faithfully Guided, we also offer restorative counseling services for individuals and families, as well as whole-person health treatments to keep you physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy. Contact us today and let us know how we can serve you and help you live your most abundant life ever.