The holidays and into the new year are the perfect time to prioritize self-care and mental health. December is often a stressful time for wellness professionals and their respective clients, and these health trends by Emerson's Spa Director, Christina Burns, are the perfect road map to winter wellness.
1. Focus on Proper Sleep
Colder weather brings shorter days and longer nights, and holiday travel brings unusual schedules as you try to take in everything there is to see, taste, and experience. However, getting good sleep has emerged as a top trend for 2024 travel. Make sure you're getting enough sleep to support your body's recovery and immune system by moving good shuteye up to the top of your priority list.
2. Take Part in a “Digital Detox”
No matter how ubiquitous “digital detoxing” is, most of us don’t take enough time away from our devices. To stay present during your holiday celebrations, challenge yourself to cut your screen time in half for a week. Phone cleansing tips to achieve this goal include putting your phone on ‘do not disturb,’ charging your phone on the other side of the room, leaving your phone behind while eating, and having at least one social media-free day.
3. Don’t Let Inclement Weather Cancel your Workout
When the winter skies open with rain or snow, most people run for cover. However, there are many benefits to running towards the outside instead. While you can enjoy a wide variety of workouts from the comfort of your home, the great outdoors takes your options to the next level by providing a change of scenery, fresh air, and affordable ways to work up a sweat.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
With the holidays approaching, we often focus solely on avoiding overindulging in comfort foods, alcohol and sweets. While it is important to practice enjoying treats in moderation, we can also embrace the season's bounty by incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables like apples, pumpkins and squash into our meals. These foods are not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients.
Related: Top 10 Wellness Trends of 2024
5. Recharge with a Planned Mental Health Day
While balancing work, loved ones, and busy holiday plans, stress can be ever-present. To combat this, planning a “mental health day” into your schedule, or even just a limited time away from your usual responsibilities, can help reduce feelings of burnout, increase productivity, develop boundaries and improve morale. It is important to fill your day with activities that recharge your mental health.
6. Invest in Yourself and Others
While money cannot buy happiness, spending money on joyful experiences can oftentimes make you feel happier. Whether treating yourself to a spa treatment or planning a vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, experiences can be something to look forward to during a stressful time. In addition, during the holiday season of giving, donating money to a cause that helps others or buying a small gift for someone you love can lead to boosts in “feel good” chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
7. Prioritize Fun and Adventure
Adventure is an essential part of life. By breaking out of your normal routine, you not only expand your mind, build up your bravery, and learn life lessons, but you also fire up the same regions of the brain that activate when getting a reward. While it can be easy to fall into routines and holiday traditions, try doing something adventurous in the new year or use the holiday break as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.
8. Take a Break from “Hustle Culture” and Exercise your “Social Fitness” in 2024
A new year provides the opportunity for a new way of life. We often hear that success, happiness, and achievement come from careers, but avoiding social connection to “get stuff done” can often have the opposite effect. Working too hard can increase stress, depression, and burnout, while taking breaks in the workplace and reaching out to family and friends can go a long way. Social fitness is when we are honest with ourselves about where we are devoting our time, and making sure we tend to the connections that will help us thrive in the new year and beyond.
9. Be Kind to your Mind, Body and Soul
To head into 2024 refreshed, it is important to take care of our whole selves. As the days get colder be sure to take care of yourself mentally and physically by practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. At Emerson Spa, we offer a Chakra Renewal experience, which utilizes tarot card reading, a crystal reiki session, and more to guide your way through a natural relationship between the mind, body, soul and spirit and a feeling of peace for the New Year. If we aren't kind to ourselves, we can't fully be kind to others.
10. Enjoy the Beauty of Silent Walking
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to become overwhelmed. To end or begin your day, walking without headphone noise can surprisingly grant your brain the space to think freely and lift the brain fog that comes with a busy home full of family and friends. Just a few moments of stepping away from festivities to combine body movement and exposure to nature allows the brain to naturally release endorphins and promotes mindfulness.