The Best Gift Ever

Julia Bowlin, M.D. - Best Gift Ever

For many people the holiday spirit is filled with joy,  anticipation, and of course the stress of the perfect gift.  We are searching to give, make, prepare, bake, design, wrap and beautify that ever so elusive”perfect gift” and experience.  We want the image, design, and overall experience of the holiday season to be loving and happy. You may have staunch traditions that MUST be carried out or the holiday season “just isn’t the same”.   The season we so lovingly reminisce about all year long with dreams of warm fuzzy feelings and gloriously delightful edible goodies can sometimes come upon us with laser lightening speed catching us off guard and off balance.  We may suddenly feel stressed, have palpitations, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping or even finding time to sleep.  We might even become depressed and unmotivated which “just isn’t right”. Even worse, we may be so exhausted that our immune systems are challenged and we become very susceptible for the myriad of viral illnesses that tend to plaque us during the winter months making our holiday experience miserable and filled with physical symptoms that must be endured to the bitter completion of the viral course(usually 7-10 days).  While we are in the midst of the beautiful holiday spirit’s aura and  grateful holiday intentions we might unfortunately find that we have forgotten to give the most important GIFT of all:  Self care, love, and preservation!

I have made some basic suggestion that could help you glide through your holidays and minimize the chances of setting yourself up for illness and unresolved expectations.  Enjoy and Happy Holiday!!!!

#1. Know your “spending limit”!   By spending limit I am not just talking about your money limitations but also about the amount of energy and time you spend doing things you think you HAVE to do.   Energy expenditure and time expenditure isn’t typically calculated at the end of the holidays to see how much debt you have incurred but I am asking you to start seeing these expenditures as a pivotal part as the decision making for planning next year.


#2.  Give something personal. Listen to and watch  people year round to witness what is important to them.  Do they always buy the same brand of tissues, lip balm, lotions.  Did they see something that they loved but could not justify.  A good garlic press and turkey baster might be in order when you see them struggling at the holidays cooking times. Make a note on your phone on a file you have already set up.  Sometimes giving something that is less expensive seems much more rich when you show you pay attention to someones everyday basic needs.  Great gifts do not have to cost a lot of money but can be rich in thought and awareness.  And of course, think about healthy options!

Julia Bowlin, M.D. - Best Gift

#3.  Get organized. This means PLANNING.   I cannot stress this enough.  Plan how you eat to loose weight , plan how you will shop, plan how you will reduce your stress.  You have to give it some good thought.  Plan next year’s holidays season now.  Look at the days and plan your shopping days early after Thanksgiving.  Take a day off to shop!  Treat yourself to a stress free slow shopping day.  See how much more you will enjoy it!!


#4.  Share the tasks. This is for the perfectionists out there.  Let other people help you out.  If they are going to a store ask them to pick something up for you.


#5. Learn to say no.  We want to go to every play, concert, Christmas party,…well OK maybe not.   The best phrase I say which is almost always true is “Gosh, I wish I could but I can’t.  Thanks so much for offering”.  You may have planned a bubble bath that night


#6. Be realistic.  Most of the time we as individuals put too much emphasis on worrying how our gift won’t measure up or be good enough.  What is really true is that your gift should come from you with graciousness and blessings.  If the other person does not like it then be accepting of that and and give a gift receipt or let it fly off your shoulder. DOn’t ruminate over what you should have done.  Its over now.


#7. Remember YOU are the priority.  That means YOU matter!  The best gift of the entire holiday season given to  you should come from yourself. That best gift means loving, honoring, and cherishing the care and keeping of yourself.  You need to sleep, exercise, and need to eat with a healthy intention.  Cut back on starchy foods and sugar and always eat your veggies, nuts, grains, and fruits first. Keeping yourself healthy means the holiday will be MUCH more pleasurable.

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