Health & Spirit

Just in Time! Your Ho-Ho-Holiday Spirit Action Plan

Marilynn Preston on

"L" IS FOR: LAUGH. Plan for a lot of laughing this December and your Well-Being Meter will not only register increased endorphin flow but also will begin to tickle your sides with elfin sensors.

"I" IS FOR: IMAGINE. Imagine what joyful holidays look like. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? Just play in your imagination. You may want to find a health coach who can help you get there, at least by next year.

"D" IS FOR: DON'T GET IN YOUR OWN WAY. If you feel yourself resisting all these suggestions, that's OK. But if you feel yourself leaning in, say yes and see what happens.

"A" IS FOR: ACCEPTANCE. Accept your December 2017 just as it is. Every behavior-modification expert knows that when you can accept your world just the way it is, you begin to sense the power you have to change it.

"Y" IS FOR: WHY? Sit quietly and ask yourself: "Why am I focusing on a particular change for the new year? Is it something I want for myself, or am I doing it for my doctor, or my partner, or -- God forbid -- my insurance company?"

"S" IS FOR: SLEEP. Sleep can help you transition through whatever December dramas you encounter. Sleep allows your brain and body to reset and rejuvenate so it can rock and roll whenever it likes.

"P" IS FOR: PLAY. Plan some playtime into your busy, crazy December schedule. Playing is what joy feels like, and the molecules of emotion that get released bathe your body in the biochemical equivalent of a double scoop of Rocky Road in a waffle cone.

"I" IS FOR: INSPIRE YOURSELF. Sure, you can look around at the sale signs and feel you need another reindeer sweater or snowflake earrings, but where would you look if you wanted to boost your well-being? Would you turn to a friend, a poem? Would you turn inside? Do it, and repeat throughout the month.


"R" IS FOR: REST. Related to sleep, but not the same. To keep your immune system strong and your mood steady, rest during the holidaze with a 20-minute nap, a 10-minute meditation and five minutes of focused breathing per day, every day. (Exercise is good, too.)

"I" IS FOR: INSPIRE OTHERS. Doing good will make you feel good. End of story (almost).

"T" IS FOR: TAKE THE TIME. What boosts your own holiday well-being? Family dinners? Avoidance of family dinners? Time in nature? Live music? Look at whatever's left of your December calendar, and schedule yourself for fun.


"If you can't find the spirit of the holidays in your heart, you'll never find it under a tree." -- Michael Holbrook


Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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