This holiday season, leave the stress at the door and find ways to be happy and healthy. Suzette Smith has been running Shelter Island Pilates & Barre since 2004. As a former professional dance and award-winning choreographer, specializing in body alignment, postural assessment and correction, and proper mechanics, she knows a thing or two about the body and ways to heal it. Take it from the professional with these seven tips:
1. Remember the value of your time: The first step to taking time for yourself is valuing your own time. Your time is precious, so don’t just give it away. Take a moment to remember your time and energy are limited and have a lot of worth. Start with this important reminder to set the stage for the season.
2. Simplify: To take more time for yourself, you have to make more time. Think about holidays past. What worked and what didn’t? Allow yourself to let go of what no longer serves you. Modify or eliminate what doesn’t bring you joy. Keeping it simple lets you de-clutter your life from unnecessary obligations and frees you up to have more time and fun.
3. Prioritize: Next, decide what is important for you. You can’t do it all. Give yourself permission to prioritize what makes you happy (not just everyone else), and make sure to factor those into your plans. And don’t be afraid to delegate. If you can’t fit it into your schedule, you can give yourself more time by asking others to share the work.
4. Plan ahead: Never underestimate the importance of a schedule. Now that you’ve decided what you’ll be doing, budget your time accordingly. Using your time wisely will give you more opportunity to enjoy yourself. Underschedule your activities to give yourself wiggle room and avoid rushing. This keeps your nervous system relaxed amidst all the holiday hubbub.
5. Care for your body: Although the holiday season is a joyful time, it can be rough on you too. Take extra time to rest and nurture yourself. Treat yourself like a sugar plum fairy. If we don’t re-charge our batteries along the way, we’ll be running on empty by the time the holidays arrive. Get a full eight hours of sleep or take a nap when you need it. Cozy up by the fire, take a bubble bath, or light a candle. Also, don’t forget that moderation is key. We all want to enjoy our treats and sweets, but try to balance it out with nutritious food. Stay committed to your exercise routine — don’t put it on hold until after the new year. Keep it up now to keep yourself in check.
6. Care for your soul: Re-connect with the spirit of the holidays — it’s about peace and love. Ask yourself what gets you connected to your heart. Get inspired. Read a book, watch a movie, or go to an event that makes your heart sing. Sit down and drink your tea while it’s still hot. Take time for stillness.
7. Honor your traditions: Traditions are so valuable. Think back to your favorite holiday memories. Recreate those this season to honor your own traditions, and create some new ones that represent who you are and who you have become.
Need a vacation? There a few spots left for Suzette Smith’s Oceanfront Pilates & Wellness Retreat in Santa Teresa Beach, Costa Rica from February 2 to 9 at Pranamar Villas. Enjoy Pilates, barre, meditation, surf lessons, hiking, and more. Visit www.shelterislandpilates.com to learn more about the trip and studio.
Happy Holidays, IndyFitters!