Celebrate Yourself For Happier, Healthier Holidays (And Calmer Periods Too)!
I love the magic that comes this time of year. You can see and feel it everywhere.
For most of the women I know, it’s about the magic we can create for everyone around us. After all, the feminine is built to serve, support, nurture and care for those around us. It’s in our nature. And because we love it so much, we often swing to that extreme - making it about everyone else at the expense of taking care of ourselves.
While it’s fun to celebrate and exchange gifts, there can be a considerable amount of stress associated with spending money, traveling, cooking meals, cleaning house, planning family gatherings and parties (all while many of us are still working, taking care of the family and other obligations). In the United States alone, nearly half of all women report higher levels of stress during the holidays.
In the midst of this stress, feeling overwhelmed, and at times chaos, it’s easy for women to reach exhaustion or burnout. The most common response? Women “push through.”
This reactionary approach to stress only exacerbates negative impacts on our health (and our periods). In this article, I want to give you a healthier alternative that can not only improve your well-being, but also lend itself to easier periods (which we can always use more of, right?).
What I’m about to mention will seem like a contrarian idea, one you may not be used to, and may even seem impossible. For the few minutes it takes you to read this article, I’d like to ask that you suspend your beliefs and simply consider what it could look like if you were to adopt some of the practices I’ll be sharing with you.
When you add yourself to the list of things you need to take care of this holiday season, and dare I say even put yourself at the top of your list, (like putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping others) not only do you benefit, but everyone around you does as well.
It’s time to celebrate yourself this holiday season!
When you do, you'll improve your outlook on life, your health and your well-being.
Two Ways To Celebrate Yourself This Holiday Season
- Brags & Celebrations
You can do these covertly from your desk, while sitting in traffic, while you wait in line at the department store, or in the quiet of your own home. You can do these alone or with a girlfriend.
First up, brags & celebrations.
When I say “brag” I’m not talking about being boastful or arrogant as a way to put others down (that’s the patriarchy’s approach).
A brag is to celebrate the truth about yourself.
You are amazing. You’re a miracle working. You are a badass!
It’s time to acknowledge it.
As women, we’re so used to celebrating everyone else, we can overlook shining the spotlight on ourselves. Sharing brags can be done in a humble way. Here are examples of brags that some girlfriends and I have recently shared:
I brag I’m rocking my part-time job and launching my own business while raising a 4 year old as a single parent.
I brag I’m creating the best year ever in my business.
I brag I spoke my truth to my boss and I feel seen and heard - and they’re considering me for a promotion.
I brag opening my home to a group of close friends and creating an evening of magic and togetherness.
I brag getting a front row parking spot while holiday shopping.
I brag anonymously paying for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive through line.
There’s no degree of bragging and celebration as long as YOU are the focus of the brag.
We’ll get to shining the spotlight on others in just a moment, but for now, this is about you! Give it a try. List 3 brags about yourself where you’re simply sharing the truth about how incredible you are!
The next way to celebrate yourself is to offer gratitudes.
Through brags we start with celebrating you first so you can take a seat at your banquet table. Next, we celebrate all that is around you by listing gratitudes in your life.
Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, help with your mood and improve immunity. Gratitude can also decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.
When you’re engaged in enjoyable activities, including sharing brags and gratitudes, your body releases the hormone and neurotransmitter, Oxytocin. “All closeness, positive communication, and overall good emotions are connected to oxytocin,” says integrative wellness specialist Frank Lipman MD. “Oxytocin gives you a warm, loving feeling. It’s partially responsible for a happy mood,” adds gynecologist Carol Livoti MD. Oxytocin has a calming effect and can influence your emotions and mental health.
The opposite of your feel-good hormones, like oxytocin, is cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol interrupts the natural regulation of your hormones that impact your menstrual cycles, PMS and periods. Prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress-hormones can put you at risk for many health problems including:
- Digestive problems
- Muscle tension and pain
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
That's why it's important to learn healthy ways to cope with your life stressors.
Can you see how, if you arm yourself in advance with things like sharing celebrations and listing gratitudes, prior to diving deep into the holiday season, you’re equipping yourself to decrease stress. This leaves room for more fun and joy (and more energy to navigate the holidays with ease and grace)?
In short, the more stress, the more PMS you could experience. The more oxytocin, the better chance your hormones have of doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
So in celebrating yourself, you just might be celebrating
easier, problem-free periods too!!!
Wouldn’t that be a great gift this year!
"I've had no cramps and my lower back issues have reduced. I usually feel internally beaten to a pulp, raw and bruised right before I start and on the first two days of my period.
I haven't felt any of that at all this time."
Lindsay McKinnon, Virginia
We wrapped up the 8 days of Hanukkah. Many folks are gearing up for the 12 days of Christmas.
I’d like to invite you to practice The 12 Days of YOU!
The 12 Days of YOU!
Journal your brags, celebrations and gratitudes for the next 12 days as you approach Christmas and throughout these holidays.
- Before you lift your head off the pillow each morning, simply whisper 3 gratitudes quietly to yourself.
- While you’re on your lunch break, call a girlfriend and share 3 brags or celebrations from your day.
- When you sit down to dinner, whether alone or with others, go around the table and ask everyone to share one gratitude.
- When you climb into bed, get out your journal and list 3 brags and 3 gratitudes from your day. And I promise you, you’ll have a great night’s sleep.
With disruptions to schedules, increased stress that can’t be avoided, and eating all kinds of different foods in the coming weeks, to further protect your period so it doesn’t go haywire during the holidays, consider integrating Perfect Period.® into your routine to help your hormonal balance.
The last thing you need is to have to miss out on work, say no to a holiday party, or be curled up in bed or on the couch missing out on the fun and festivities.
Gift the gift of Perfect Period to yourself
or another woman in your life struggling with her periods.
"[Taking Perfect Period] has brought about a major positive change in my life and the ending of overwhelming cravings I haven't been able to keep under control. Now I am in charge of how and what I eat. I'm very excited about this product and how it can serve the feminine in a safe and natural way."
Ninna, New Jersey
The most welcome change brought about by the use of Perfect Period is that I quickly
felt much calmer and more centered; more in control of my emotions. I've also realized that my diet has improved, I watch less TV, and am more self-aware. I'm paying more attention to my behaviors in a positive way rather than with self-criticism."
Paula Tompkins, Virginia