10 Ground Rules for a Happy Healthy Holiday



  1. Do it your way. Let go of obligation and expectation. How do you want to give? How do you want to celebrate? Release cultural norms and allow yourself to be guided from within.

  2. Feast + Fast. Pulse between celebratory feasting with smaller, simple, easy to digest meals. If you’ve overeaten, skip a meal or wait as long as you can before your next one. Sip hot water between meals and definitely don’t snack.

  3. Focus on presence, not presents. Your time, your attention, your listening and your support are way more valuable than the obligatory gift you’re meant to buy. If you want to give - do it in a way that’s meaningful - not because you’re supposed to. This will inspire you.

  4. Bundle up, go outside and walk. Invite an old friend or family member to catch up on a hike. Walk alone in silence or while you call your mama on the phone. Anyway you can get it in - just do it.

  5. Embrace hygge. Hygge is a Danish quality of “coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”. Embracing hygge is taking pleasure in the small things - a warm cup of tea, curling up with a cozy blanket in front of a fire, relaxing on the couch with a good book. Hygge for me is wearing the same comfy sweatpants every single day, a pantry stocked with yummy herbal teas to drink throughout the day, and quiet mornings meditating in my yoga room. 

  6. Nurture your ojas. When you embrace hygge, you nurture your ojas. Ojas is one of the three vital essences that together promote and sustain our physical vitality, mental clarity, and overall health. Ojas governs our immune system, inner radiance, strength, and sleep. Activities that Build Ojas: 

    • laughing and loving others

    • Getting enough sleep – 7-9 hours between the hours of 10 and 6

    • Eating fresh wholesome foods in a relaxed manner

    • Being in nature

    • Yoga, nasal breathing and meditation

    • Giving and serving others

    • Acting on what you are passionate about 

  7. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. This is ojas, hygge, and presence - all bundled up into one powerful and uplifting practice. When you reflect daily on all the abundance and gifts that surround you, you invite more of the same to come into your life.

  8. Make time for reflection. The darkness is a prime time to retreat inside of our hearts and reflect on hopes, dreams and desires. It’s in this fertile ground that we plant seeds for what we want to create as we cross the threshold of the solstice and the days begin to grow longer. A daily journal practice cultivates clarity, creativity, and congruence with your daily actions and your goals.

  9. Practice the golden rule, in reverse. Treat yourself as you would have others treat you. Fill your own cup first

  10. Early to bed, early to rise. Like the bears and other hibernating animals - we need more sleep in the winter. The hours before midnight count for twice as much. Aim for bedtime closer to 9pm so you can be up around 6 and enjoy those precious early hours of quiet.

Dana SkoglundComment