It's that time of year again! It's the holidays. Oh and it's a global pandemic. In case you forgot. The holidays can be a tough time for so many. It can cause extra stress financially, on mental health, on relationships, just to name a few. The sun is setting earlier, it's colder, oh and it's still a global pandemic. There are loads of reasons that can cause you to feel down during a regular holiday season, but this one comes with a little extra push.
We are all trying out hardest to work together, and come out of this pandemic stronger than we were before. And the holiday season is no different. I have found that in a time of struggle, there are some home remedies to help lift your spirits and bring you back to the positive side. Christmas sure is the most wonderful time of year. All the lights, festivities, gatherings, yummy treats, are just some of the reasons we love the season. And while we can make a huge list of reasons not to lean into those positive, happy vibes, we are going to do the opposite. Check out my list of remedies to help yield the negativity, heal the anxiety, slow down the bad thoughts and overall help you have a better day. Because one good day, can lead to many as long as we take it one day at a time.
Home Remedies for the Holiday Season, During a Pandemic
1. Cook or treat yourself to your favorite meal
Try out a new recipe, or go to one of your favorites even if it means going out and purchasing it. Cooking for yourself is a form of self love. And while buying it isn't exactly the same, you deserve to treat and take yourself out on a little date.
2. Take a bath
Nothing a nice hot bubble bath can't fix, right? Something about hot water, soap suds, some quiet, maybe your favorite tunes and a glass of wine, really does the trick in helping to unwind.
It might be a little difficult at first to quiet your mind, but practice makes perfect. Meditation has been proven to help stop those negative thoughts and bring you back to center. It can be 5 minutes or 5 hours, both work the same in grounding you when things feel chaotic.
4. Get coffee with a friend
Grab a drink with a friend, if your local cafe is open for indoor dining. If not, grab them to go and enjoy somewhere outdoors (weather permitting). Even sitting in your car chatting, nothing tops a little one on one friend time over a cup of joe.
5. Go for a walk
Of course, also weather permitting. The colder months make it harder to get outside, but our bodies need fresh air and it's great for our minds. Bonus if it's sunny out and you can catch a little bit of vitamin D.
At your favorite salon, or at home. A little self care can go a long way. And maintaining yourself physically, helps you feel better about yourself.
I know, you're like really? Clean?! But I swear, sometimes cleaning is just what the doctor ordered. Going through my closer, doing the dishes, etc. helps your mind stay active and feels therapeutic. I've worked out many situations while scrubbing away. Don't knock it till you try it!
This goes along with cooking, but baking brings an extra special smell to your home. Plus you have a yummy treat once you're done. Or wrap it up and give it to a neighbor, because caring is sharing.
9. Read a book
Every time I feel like I'm stuck, I find myself looking for some helpful answers. Motivation, inspiring, self-help esc books are always helpful when you feel like you're in that negative state. Get some advice, learn from someone whose been where you are, or just read your favorite genre.
10. Listen to a podcast
Like #9, there are so many topics of podcasts to learn about nearly anything, or tune in to something you just find interesting. Find something that'll make you laugh, or cry, whatever you're into.
11. Watch a movie
With movie theaters having limited capacity, this could be an in-home movie night. Or take it to the theater if you have one open near you. Have some snacks, snuggle up on your couch and enjoy a new film.
Really though, not much tops the natural adrenaline high you get from moving your body. There are so many options to workout in home now, try out a new virtual class. Or grab your mask and head to your gym. Regardless of what it is that makes you sweat, work-it-out of your mind.
13. Go for a drive / day trip
Take a trip to the beach, or a local hike. Even if it's cold out, then bundle up! But get out of your home, help get out of your head and go change your scenery for a little bit. A change in environment can go a long way.
14. Enjoy the holiday festivities
Go look at your towns Christmas tree, or the drive-thru holiday light set up. Drive around different neighborhoods to see house lights, or google what's in your area and plan a little trip. Even with pandemic rules, outdoor ice skating is still a thing, and so are lots of holiday themed shops and restaurants.
15. Help someone else out
When you're struggling sometimes the best remedy is to lend a helping hand. Helping others is an act of love, that can help in turn lift your spirits about how you view yourself. At the end of the day, everyone appreciates a phone call, a donation, a virtual or socially distanced hug, and so on. Get creative!
Of course my favorite, because I'm a writer. But! Writing is one of the best forms of therapy. It helps to empty out your brain and put it on paper. When you are struggling with an issue, this can help give you some clarity.
17. Talk out what's on your mind
Talking is underrated. Talking through a situation with a loved one, respected friend, teacher, etc. can really help. Sometimes we don't realize until we open up that other people have been through similar scenarios, and maybe have different solutions we couldn't see ourselves.
18. Plan a night in with friends or your lover
It's always great to have something to look forward to. With pandemic rules, it may be more limited than usual but it's still doable. Plan a dinner out or a girls night / dinner night in with your love. Either way, it gives you the opportunity to get ready, get up and have something to do for the evening.
19. Create your own spa day
If going to the spa for a massage or facial isn't an option, you don't need to go far to have a spa day! Get a face mask, body scrub, hair mask, bubble bath, whatever you like, set it up.
20. Get off social media
While social media can be great in many ways, it can also be draining and maybe even the reason you're feeling down. It's important to remember that most people don't post their bad days or failures which glamorizes lives that aren't 100% true. Take a break from scrolling and focus on yourself.
On my current fitness journey, I am eating a heck of a lot of chicken. Sometimes, it feels like all day every day. So I've been on the hunt for new-ish recipes that can give my chicken dishes a different taste but still stay within the lines of my diet. As many either know, or can predict, prepping for a bikini competition entails a super strict diet. Which means these dishes can't be too high in additives like sugar and sodium, which is most tasty marinades and dressings. But! We always have options. Moral of the story, everything homemade is better. Instead of buying marinades and dressings to dress up my chicken, I've chosen to make them myself as a healthier alternative (and cheaper, might I add).
Chicken adobo is one of my favorite dishes, along with a few other Filipino classics. Overall I love Asian style cooking, and could probably live off of Chinese, Filipino, Thai and Vietnamese food. While I know most of these delicious babies don't fit in my meal plan, I do know some variations I can make work! This recipe is great over rice, and served with veggies. I chose brown rice, but sticky white rice is always tasty, too! For vegetables I chose broccoli, that soaks up some of that marinade! Check out my recipe of chicken adobo below.
1 package of chicken thighs (2lbs, no skin, no bone)
1/3 cup of water
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup of white vinegar
3 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of black pepper
Add all of your ingredients into a bag with your chicken. Allow to marinate for minimum 20 minutes and as long as over night. Place crockpot on high and add chicken with marinade for 3 hours. Done!