Below is Serena’s contribution to Newsweek:
As the holiday season gets into full swing, many will be finding that they are busier than ever. From social engagements to parties and festive catch ups, Christmas can quickly become stressful. But all is not lost—Newsweek has asked experts for their top tips on making the most of the downtime that the holidays offers, from getting enough sleep to choosing nourishing food and drink.
Serena Poon is a Reiki master and longevity wellness expert. She told Newsweek: “Down time is when our bodies and minds heal. Taking time to relax at the end of the year, when many people are off from work or school, is an optimal time to allow your body, mind and soul space and grace to recharge for the year ahead. That being said, a lot of people experience stress over the holidays trying to plan the perfect gifts or celebrations or because of loss or family strife.
“Instead of giving in to what you feel like you ‘should’ do, it might be worth reflecting on what you truly need to feel revitalized at the end of the year—maybe you can find a way to do less and still enjoy the season,” she suggested.
Add a little mindfulness
Rushing around to wrap final gifts and planning the timings for the all-important Christmas meal can leave even the most zen of people feeling a little frazzled. Poon suggests introducing mindfulness and meditation into your routine to stay grounded.
“Recent research shows that mindfulness meditation practice can decrease stress and burnout and increase resiliency, compassion and emotional regulation,” she explained.
Skip the drinks
Poon explained: “Though the season often guides us in the other direction, try to focus on eating wholesome, nourishing, grounding foods that will support your body in its efforts to heal and recharge after a busy year and avoid eating foods that exacerbate stress, such as sugar, alcohol and caffeine.”
With a new year fast approaching, Poon also suggests that now is the perfect time to set positive intentions for 2023.
“Consider how you will move your body to ensure that you feel your best. Will you take daily walks or practice yoga with your friends from the neighborhood? Make a plan for getting ample sleep, proper hydration, meditation and balancing your hormones,” she said.
“Practices that support your health will be unique to you, but no matter what your regimen includes, taking time to define them now will set you up for success in the new year.”