Six Ways to Celebrate in a Healthier Way!
by Dr. Donna L. Goldstein
Have you noticed nearly every celebration in life, whether it’s a family birthday, graduation or career advancement on Facebook, shows people indulging in large amounts of food and drink? Let’s rethink how we can celebrate in fun ways that are better for us and healthier, too. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on eating out and consuming things that don’t serve us well, here are a few examples of how to have a lovely celebration and feel great about it.
- Learn or Make Something Creative
It’s always fun to learn something new. From learning a new recipe to painting something in a class with friends, you’ll get to spend time together and learn something along the way. Slice, dice, chop, cook and wok your way through all kinds of recipes in a cooking class. My friends and I recently learned how to make easy, fantastic soups.
On a Saturday night, instead of going out to a heavy meal and sitting through a movie, enroll in a one-time painting or ceramics class. Take your entire office staff to a line dance or take a painting class and then hang the paintings around your office. Find a local YMCA, college, church or community center and find out what classes they have available for people in your community so your group can get healthy and have fun together. These are priceless memories or skills that last a lifetime.
- Outdoor Activity with Friends
Being out in nature or near water has a healing effect and is awesome for stress management. Find the closest place in nature you like visiting near your home. You could plan a full-blown camping adventure or enjoy the outdoors by taking a hike or canoeing or kayaking with your friends. If you don’t know how, take a class and learn. My husband and I took a midnight kayaking class with another couple and it was a beautiful and romantic experience. Finding a way to be out on the water or out with nature is wonderful for your mind, body and spirit.
- Create a Unique Gathering with Your Friends
One of my favorite ways to celebrate is taking friends to yoga and belly dancing classes or hiring the instructor to come to my home. This kind of celebration is easy to put together and almost anyone can do it. Some yoga even includes interacting with animals such as dogs or goats. Just think, you can introduce someone to something new and be uplifted together. I love to make jewelry and do various types of arts and crafts. For one party, my friends and I made mobiles out of miscellaneous jewelry and “junk” from around our homes. You could have an evening with friends making something everyone can take home afterwards and they’ll always remember why and where they made it.
- Give a Healthy Experience
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a gift for certain people. Gift certificates are a terrific way to show someone you care. Most people over 30-years-old have plenty of “stuff”. We’re all craving both new experiences and pampering. Find out what the person enjoys. Do they like facials or manicures? A massage is a wonderful gift that I like to give, especially because it is truly a stress reliever. A girl’s night out at a spa is always fun. Even last minute, a gift of an “experience” can be easy to arrange, thoughtful and rewarding to both giver and receiver. Giving an experience like a concert or tickets to a play will be far more memorable than a meal that’s over in an hour. What about a sunset sail, sporting event or fishing charter?
- Celebrate with a Gift of a New Membership
What better gift to give than a membership for something they really enjoy that lasts all year through. How about a monthly tea or coffee subscription? There are also monthly memberships to everything from makeup and clothes to candles and kitchen utensils. A magazine subscription on a subject your friend is interested in is something they will get every month and enjoy. It’s fun and they get something that is special throughout the year. You can also purchase a membership at a local YMCA or to a local spa, art museum or science museum. Just think, the gift recipient will be able to take advantage of your gift all year long.
- Celebrate What You Have by Giving Service to Others
Give a gift that truly matters. There are so many charities in this world helping people in need. I am a big fan of giving back—whether it’s for your own town or across the globe in a third world country. I had people come to my home and put together packages with children’s DVDs and books, etc. for a library at an orphanage in India (*Facebook.com/St.Chandra.school). Another time, I gave a donation to a homeless shelter and they hosted a party where my friends and I learned to make fruit sculptures (one of their chefs was an expert food carver). You can take family or co-workers to a Habitat Build (Habitat.org) and help put a roof on a home or assist with landscaping for a deserving family. For as little as a $10 donation through Heifer International (*Heifer.org/gift-catalog/animals-nutrition/index.html) you can donate toward an animal for a family. My family always bought rabbits in honor of my stepmother, “Bunny”. These charities could use your help and you can encourage your friends to do the same.
With the right spirit, you can plan just the right celebration. Save the calories, the money and the hangover and create something memorable.
Dr. Donna Goldstein, a 25 year veteran psychologist and certified health coach, teaches a new way to eat and live that can help you break the cycle of “yo-yo” dieting for good. She has maintained her own 70 lb. weight loss for over 10 years and has helped her clients lose thousands of pounds with no drugs or surgery. For your free Lifestyle Plan, call or text 954-292-8477. To learn more, visit BodyWisdomByDrDonna.com.