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Friday, July 1, 2022

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Cool Runnings

We welcome the holiday season, eager to share Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family making fond memories. However, preparing for these special days can add stressors as we try to balance our day-to-day lives and already busy schedules with the demands of the holiday season.

The hustle and bustle – the “not enough time” syndrome – can impact our health and well-being. We feel pressured and tense. At that point, our fight or flight hormone kicks in to try to help us. That hormone is cortisol, and over time, the continuous release of this hormone creates insulin resistance, and the resulting progressive increase in our weight. It also can cause an imbalance in other hormones such as melatonin, thyroid and testosterone, which starts a cascade of symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, low libido and difficulty losing weight.

How can we make the shift to create a more satisfying life experience and calm our nerves? In my opinion, it comes back to a basic appreciation of the trilogy of body, mind and spirit and developing a conscious awareness of how each action in our daily lives is reflecting an expression to one or all of these. As we separate the parts of the trilogy, we begin by taking a look at our body.

Our body needs food for energy. We learn to eat to nurture and strengthen our body and recognize that food cannot make up for inadequacies or dysfunctions in our mind or spirit. As we stress, we reach for comfort foods, which are usually refined carbohydrates and are not necessarily comforting to our body. We need to replace those with more complex carbohydrates, colorful vegetables and healthy proteins like eggs, fish, poultry and beef. It is best to eat organically whenever possible and limit canned or bottled juices and diet drinks. Drinking plenty of water is important.

Our thoughts create an energy field, a direct chemical reaction that alters our perception and encourages actions to create desirable outcomes. Since our thoughts do create action, we must learn to own our thoughts and consciously direct them so that our outcome is the one we wanted. Within our families, we talk together about each person’s desires and dreams and we redirect each other’s fears as opportunities. We learn the value of visualizing health, prosperity and love.

Our spirit is where we find our true joy as we come to accept ourselves. We leave behind doubt and replace it with hope. We learn not to judge and to forgive and have compassion for those who judge us. With our families, we express hope. Around a family meal, we slow our pace and attempt to really listen to each other to better understand and fully appreciate each other’s points of view, and we give our love and support. We are nurturing much more than our bodies during that time. We are truly nurturing our spirit.

So as we look forward to the exciting times ahead and the opportunities to create new memories with our loved ones, take deep breaths and smile as you take time to prioritize. Make time to have family meals. As we give thanks and become consciously present in the appreciation of the moment, we fuel our body, mind and spirit. Suddenly, it will make the impossible not only possible but joyful and fun!

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