Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

By Maile Green, Naturopathic Physician

As the holiday season is in full swing, I find myself thinking about my daily routines for creating health.  I believe health and a sense of vitality are more than the absence of disease.  I believe physical and mental health are the product of daily practices and habits that create an optimal internal environment.  Throughout the world, health traditions credit the same things with creating health: proper nutrition and water intake, exercise and breathing, adequate sleep, and a sense of meaning.  Each of these practices are easy to understand.  None of them are difficult.  Incorporating them into our busy lives on a daily basis however, can be challenging!

This week I was reviewing the wellness curriculum we use at Pacific Quest.  From the beginning of our program we teach our students about proper nutrition and thinking about food as fuel for their bodies.  We introduce them to the idea of daily movement and breathing, creating flexibility and strength.  We talk about sleep hygiene- practices around adequate and quality rest, including techniques to help them relax and fall asleep naturally at the end of a day.  And, of course, finding meaning in life is a central component of the entire Pacific Quest program.

As I was reading through this material I was reminded of all the things I could be doing for my own health this holiday season.  Am I making sure to incorporate the things that are the foundations of my own health?  Some of them are old habits, and they are easy, but some of them are still a challenge.  One of the things I love about working at Pacific Quest is getting to introduce the concept of creating health to students when they are young.  I am hopeful that our influence will help them to create habits for health now, so they become incorporated into their lives and become easy for them to practice for a lifetime.  As for me, starting this week, I will take a dose of my own medicine and recommit again to making time to exercise and breathe.  I am lucky to live in a place where exercise can be fun, so I will be out on the water on my standup paddleboard.  Hopefully my boss won’t mind if I don’t get to work quite as early as usual!  Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday season!