3 Super Simple Self-Care Practices To Keep You Healthy This Holiday Season

Message from Milly

Greetings to all,

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday full of rest and sweet communion with loved ones.

As much as I love this time of year, it is always a little shocking how quickly the winter Holidays come crashing in immediately after Thanksgiving (or, in some cases, before!).


Don't get me wrong, I love the winter festivities and look forward to it. However, it's easy to lose oneself in the stress and expectations of it all, especially if we haven't had time to stop and regroup.


That's what this month's newsletter is all about, simple ways to take care of yourself during the weeks ahead.


Now, if you're thinking: "That sounds like a great idea, but the holidays come but once a year, and I'll just muscle through," I'd invite you to rethink that mindset.


Here's why.


After decades as a healthcare practitioner, I've observed that the way in which we take care of ourselves (or not!) during the holiday months (especially December) determines how resilient or susceptible we are to fall ill in the days and, weeks, months to come.

In other words, the better you take care of yourself during December the less likely you are to succumb to the woes of cold, flu, etc. season.

Hopefully, that inspires you to try some of these three simple self-care practices this holiday season…I know I will!

Blessings to all,


P.S. We will be sending out our Holiday hours shortly in a separate email, so if you’re low on supplements, now would be a good time to re-order.

Holiday Self-Care Practice #1: Journaling

If I were to choose just one self-care practice to add to my routine this holiday season, journaling would be it.

That’s because journaling is so simple, has immense benefits, and can fit in to anyone’s schedule.

Plus, it provides a perfect outlet for writing down to-do lists, worries, your thoughts and observations, spiritual insights, memories, frustrations, and gratitudes, and can even serve as a place to draw, paint, or create other forms of art.

All you need is a notebook or journal and a good pen.

Need some inspiration? Check out these amazing studied health benefits of keeping a journal:

  • Better sleep[1]
  • Improved mental and emotional health[2]
  • Reduced stress and anxiety[3]
  • Improved communication skills
  • It even supports liver, lung, and immune health[2]

If the idea of sitting quietly and writing down your thoughts doesn’t appeal to you, know there are many different forms of journaling, including:

  • Gratitude journaling
  • Nature journaling
  • To-do list journaling
  • Expressive writing
  • Religious/spiritual journaling
  • Professional journaling (writing about your career)
  • Hobby journaling
  • And many more

To learn more about how to start and maintain a journaling practice, check out: How To Start & Stick With A Journaling Practice That Supports Mental Health from MindBodyGreen.



1: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15600133/

2: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/emotional-and-physical-health-benefits-of-expressive-writing/ED2976A61F5DE56B46F07A1CE9EA9F9F

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305886/

Holiday Self-Care Practice #2: Prioritize Sleep

This may not seem like a remarkable practice. However, getting enough sleep is essential to proper immune function, mental well-being, performance, hormonal function, and so much more.

In many traditional healing systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, winter is seen as a time of sacred rest and inward reflection.

We need only observe the nature of the season---shorter, darker days, colder nights, dormant plants, and hibernating creatures---to know what nature intended for humans too.

Yet, so many of us will forego the recommended 7 ½ - 9 hours of sleep to wrap one more gift, send one more Christmas card, or eat one more cookie (-;.

Instead, I’d invite you to view rest/sleep as sacred, non-negotiable, and as fundamental to health and longevity as good nutrition, exercise, and hydration.

I also want to recognize there are times in life when getting enough sleep simply isn’t possible. Such as when caring for a new baby, teething toddler, or sick loved one(s). If you are in this season of life, know it will pass, and you can catch up later.

Instead of stressing about it, focus on getting as much rest as possible.

Even if that means lying on the sofa for a few minutes with your eyes closed or napping with a restless baby. Do what you can and focus on optimizing your health in those areas you can control right now.

For the rest of us, here are some tips to help you prioritize sleep this holiday season.

  • Set a bedtime every night and stick to it. Enlist the help of an accountability partner if you need it.
  • Get to bed with enough time to fall asleep and stay asleep for 7 ½ - 9 hours (or more if you need it).
  • Banish all electronics from bedrooms---especially phones, tablets, smart televisions, and anything with blue light or Bluetooth. EMFs can disrupt sleep patterns, and blue light messes with melatonin production.
  • Sleeping in a cold room will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Set your thermostat to turn down at night at a certain time, say 8:00 PM. You’ll be more likely to get into bed if the rest of the house is chilly.

Give yourself at least 30 minutes to wind down with a calming, screen-free activity, such as:

  • Journaling
  • Have a cup of herbal tea
  • Reading a calming book
  • Meditating or praying
  • Gentle stretching or yoga
  • A nice hot bath or shower
  • Get on a massager or curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and listen to some calming music or a relaxing Podcast (then take that phone out of your bedroom!)

If you have trouble sleeping, you can lean on certain supplements to help. Some great ones to try include:

  • Melatonin: 1-3 mg (low dose) typically works best for sleep. We like Energetix Melatonin Spray.
  • Valerian: 1-2 droppers 30 minutes before bed, like Energetix Core Valerian.
  • Chamomile, Tulsi, Lemon Balm, or other sleep-support teas.
  • Ashwagandha: Try dosing 2 droppers full 30 minutes before bed OR 1 dropper in the morning and 1-2 30 minutes before bed.
  • As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha can help you fall asleep, stay calm yet alert during the day, and sleep more deeply at night.[1][2] We like Energetix Core Ashwagandha.
  • Energetix Relax-Tone and Fields of Flowers: These are ideal when emotions or racing thoughts are keeping you up. They’re also great for children.

If you struggle with persistent sleep issues, it’s important to get to the root cause---which varies widely for every individual.

We can help with custom holistic strategies for sleep issues, so be sure to make an appointment or mention it at your next appointment.

Want more tips for a better night’s sleep?

Check out our previous newsletter: Solutions for Better Sleep (beyond sleep hygiene).


1: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32818573/

2: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1389945720301246

As always, the information in this newsletter is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice or care of your medical provider.
All the links to products are provided for educational purposes and are not affiliate links.

Holiday Self-Care Practice #3: Get Outdoors Every Day

There’s an old German saying that goes: “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

In other words, cold weather is no reason not to treat yourself to the immense health benefits of the great outdoors.

Some of these include:

  • Better mood
  • Better sleep (from the cold air and natural light, which resets the sleep cycle)
  • More robust immunity (which is why Nordic parents let their babies nap in sub-zero temperatures well-bundled)
  • Enhanced focus
  • Microbiome benefits via the fresh air and contact with the earth or natural substances
  • Improved circulation
  • More motivation to exercise if it’s done outdoors
  • More calories burned during outdoor exercise in cold weather
  • A better overall well-being

This doesn’t have to mean driving an hour to hike in the woods either.

It can be as simple as taking a 15-20 minute brisk walk every day, playing outdoors with your children, taking your workout outdoors, or having your morning coffee or tea wrapped up in a blanket on your front or screened porch.

It’s also critical to dress appropriately, which means a hat, scarf, gloves, warm socks, and warm coat.

Try to commit to at least 10 minutes outdoors a day and you’ll notice a world of difference.

And use commonsense. If it's far below zero and windy or icy, or you're recovering from being sick it's OK to skip a day or two.

For more inspiration, check out the following articles:

How Cold Weather Can Actually Be Good For You from Reader’s Digest Canada.

How to Stay Active in Cold Weather from the American Heart Association.

The Babies Who Nap in Subzero Temperatures from the BBC

(Note: I am not recommending you let your babies or children sleep in subzero temperatures! However, this article shares an interesting perspective on the benefits of exposing children to cold temperatures when properly bundled I felt was worth sharing. Plus, it’s a fascinating practice that has endured for generations.)