The holiday season is upon us, and those of us in the integrative world know what that can mean for patients physically, mentally, and emotionally. From gooey treats and lights all aglow, too often we neglect our well being, and become swept up in the stress of gifts and gatherings.

We at Integrative Practitioner wish you and your patients the very best of holidays and, as a small gift to you, we decided to swap turtle doves and pear trees for our top 12 mindfulness, gratitude, and other sanity-saving wellness tips to help you get through the next couple of weeks. We’ve also included our favorite pieces of content on each subject, so feel free to reference back if you want more information. Enjoy!


Practice Mindfulness 

Make a point to take at least a couple of minutes each day to sit quietly and be completely present. Focus on your breath, tune in to your body, and try to quiet your mind. You can also practice mindfulness in your daily routine, such as brushing your teeth or commuting, by honing in on the sight, smell, taste, and feel of these activities.

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Focus on Positive Relationships 

The holidays can be a difficult time for families, especially those who have lost a loved one. It’s important to focus on the positive relationships that you do have and surround yourself with people, family members and non, that bring you joy and purpose to your life. While this may not always be possible for some, they key is to develop a support system, which will in turn improve your mental and emotional wellness.

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Engage in Gratitude 

This is the perfect time of year to start a gratitude practice. and focus on the things that make your life better and more worthwhile. Simply write down a daily or weekly “thankful thought,” or take a few moments to list three things you are grateful for. Spirituality and gratitude are essential components of well being and have been shown to reduce stress and improve emotional stability.

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Get Enough Sleep 

Most people struggle with getting enough sleep, and the holiday season makes it even more challenging to keep our daily z’s in check. Experts say 7-9 hours a night is ideal, so make rest a priority to stay balanced and prevent illness.

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Wind Down

We all get anxious during this busy time of year, and what we eat can play a huge role in our mental and emotional state. If you’re having trouble winding down at the end of the day, make this cherry chamomile smoothie an hour or two before you go to bed.

Cherries and chamomile tea help induce sleep, the mangos, seeds, and coconut will support blood sugar throughout the night so you can rest peacefully. Click here for this recipe and more.

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Take Care

We need to take care of ourselves during the holiday season, and encourage our patients to do the same. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take time every day to relax and breathe. Develop a consistent self-care practice and stick to it over the next couple of weeks.

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Move More 

Exercise can keep your weight and body functionality in check, but it can also reduce stress, improve focus, and give you more energy to power through the day. Whether it’s a one-hour gym session or a brisk walk around your neighborhood, prioritize movement this season to combat illness and improve stamina.

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Fight Colds and Flu Naturally

Whether we like it or not, the holidays fall in the midst of cold and flu season. Boost your immune system with natural remedies to keep illness at bay. For example, lemon helps to alkalinize the body, garlic can help treat sore throat and infection, and cinnamon serves as a natural antibiotic.

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Prevent Inflammation 

Inflammation can manifest as illness, injury, or chronic pain, as well and mental and emotional distress. Curcumin and turmeric are known to reduce this inflammation, and can easily be incorporated into diets. The ground or root form is best (pills are often placebo), and can be mixed with warm nut milk for a soothing latte beverage, or incorporated into soups and smoothies.

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Stay Hydrated 

Water is the number one nutrient the body needs to survive, and drinking enough water can lead to improve mental clarity, assist in detoxification, reduce appetite, and and affect overall vitality and energy. Drink plenty of water during the holiday season by drinking a glass with every meal and keeping a water bottle nearby.

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Cook 

With all of the festive feasts over the next few weeks, it can be tempting to save time with takeout and fast food. However, studies show the simple act of cooking a meal at home can not only improve your nutrition, but your mental capacity and stability. Cook with a partner or friend to enhance the experience and reap additional psychological and emotional benefits.

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Balance Is Key 

The most important bit of advice we can offer is to leave your worries behind this time of year. Focus on eating right, moving and exercising proper self-care 80 percent of the time, and allow yourself to indulge the additional 20 percent. Enjoy the season without feeling overwhelmed, and encouraging patients to put themselves first for at least a few moments a day to ensure they are in the best mental and emotional state heading in to the new year.

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