Prescription For a Highly Healthy Holiday

by | Nov 30, 2005 | Health

If you’re celebrating more but enjoying it less, a few small changes will help you enter into the joy of the season.

When I entered the exam room, I found Erin staring blankly out the window. She looked as if she was in another world. The note from my nurse said only, “Post-holiday depression. Wants to talk.”

As I pulled out my stool and had a seat, I greeted her. “Good morning, Erin. What’s up?”

She continued to stare across the small lake behind our office as her lower chin began to quiver, and a large tear streaked down her cheek. She reached down to the purse on her lap, pulled out a tissue and wiped her tear.

“It was the worst holiday season ever,” was all she could whisper.

As we talked, Erin revealed that she had eaten too much, gained too much weight, planned too many events, had too many things go wrong, had no time for herself or her dear husband, had limited time with her kids and no time for her Lord. In short, she had done too much that was unhealthful and too little that was healthy.

Unfortunately, too many women make the same mistake as Erin year after year after year. But, perhaps you’re interested in breaking this cycle and having a holiday season for you and your family that is memorable, healthful and God honoring. If so, then this prescription is for you.

Assessing Your Health The first step is to understand how we are created. The Bible teaches that health is not just physical. In fact, the root word from which we derive our modern word “health” is also the root for our words “whole” and “holy.”

Perhaps the best verse to illustrate this concept is found in the writing of the physician Luke in his description of Jesus as a preteen: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52, NKJV).

In other words, Luke describes the highly healthy Jesus as healthy physically (stature), emotionally (wisdom), relationally (favor with men) and spiritually (favor with God). To be as highly healthy as God has designed each of us to be, these four “wheels of health” must be inflated and balanced. If one or more of them is flat, then it can impact and dramatically reduce our health. To be highly healthy requires assessing these four areas of health and then addressing any that are unhealthy.

In my book God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person, I discuss in great detail this hidden biblical secret to becoming highly healthy. And on my Web site is a “four-wheel” assessment tool that you can use to assess your health wheels (www.drwalt.com/PDF/hlthpers.pdf). I hope you’ll utilize one or both of these medically reliable and biblically sound health instruments (endorsed by the Christian Medical Association).

In the meantime, let me share with you the prescription I gave to Erin and continue to share with my patients and others. My prayer is that these principles and tips will help you and your family to have a highly healthy holiday season.

By the way, I saw Erin almost a year later. She brought her son in for a well-child checkup. As I entered the room, she was beaming from ear to ear.

“You sure seem happy,” I commented.

“I am, Dr. Larimore. We had the best holiday season ever. It was wonderful!”

I remember smiling and being pleased that Erin had applied these simple principles for physical, emotional, relational and spiritual health during her family’s holiday time. They will work for you and your family, too.

Physical Health Tips

  • Exercise every day. Plan your activity in advance and don’t leave it up to chance. Mark it on your calendar and consider it as important as any other appointment.
  • It’s easy to overindulge during the holidays. Watch portion sizes and select only one or two of your favorites foods.
  • Say no to excess calories, too many activities and overspending. If you say yes only to what you really believe the Lord wants you to do, you’ll experience more peace during the holidays and avoid feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
  • Place a priority on sleep. Most adults and children require eight or nine hours of sleep per night in order to function optimally during the day.
  • Wind down for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Don’t watch TV. Instead pray, mediate, read, memorize Scripture or snuggle with and talk to your spouse. You’ll fall asleep sooner and sleep more soundly.

    Emotional Health Tips

  • Strictly limit the number of holiday parties and social events you will attend.
  • Cut back on television, video game and Internet screen time. Other than holiday specials, consider making your home TV-free as much as possible.
  • Keep a check on anxiety, stress, commitments, spending and striving for perfection. Choose to ease the emotional load you carry.
  • If you spend money you don’t have, you will be setting yourself up not only for a stress-filled holiday season but also a debt-ridden new year. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts, entertainment, food and other items, then stick to your budget.
  • Plan ahead. Develop a specific calendar for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other events. Plan menus and make one food-shopping trip to avoid a last-minute scramble for forgotten ingredients. Plan plenty of time for just you and your family.
  • Forget making resolutions! Most people make resolutions that set themselves up for failure.

    Relational Health Tips

  • If you’re alone for the holidays, take advantage of the social support of your church.
  • Volunteer at community or church functions during the holidays. Helping others can be a great way to lift your spirits and make new acquaintances.
  • Create memories this holiday season. Maybe, rather than having family members buy gifts for one another, take that amount of money and go on a holiday trip as a family.
  • Relationship problems are often heightened during the holidays. If you cannot develop a strategy to reduce this holiday stress, talk to your pastor or a Christian counselor.
  • Hold on to those family traditions that are healthy, but be willing to release those that are too stressful.

    Spiritual Health Tips

  • Share your holiday traditions. Invite others to talk with God (prayer) and listen to Him (Bible study, meditation and Scripture memory).
  • Make time for your personal daily time with Christ.
  • Be with Christians and pre-Christians.
  • Listen to sacred music and inspirational holiday music.
  • Make sure that your holiday traditions, decorations and practices honor Christ.
  • Have family prayer and worship times.
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen. “Adopt” a needy family or a “grandparent” at a local nursing home. Deliver gifts to a homeless shelter.
  • Watch spiritual videos, movies or plays.
  • Discuss with your children the meaning of the holiday and the lessons and values it represents.

    May your family also experience joy and peace, memories and fellowship, worship and wonder during this most wonderful time of the year.


    Walt Larimore, M.D., is one of America’s most recognized family physicians. He is the best-selling author of several books, including God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person (Zondervan) and SuperSized Kids (Centre Street). His most recent release and first novel is, TSI: The Gabon Virus (Howard Books). Larimore lives with his wife, Barb, in Colorado. Visit www.DrWalt.com for more information on this subject and many other health-related topics.
  • CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

    Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

    The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

    Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


    MORE FROM CHARISMA

    Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

    Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

    Note: As the World Economic Forum rolls out the "Great Reset’"—and a new poll shows 77% of the public is concerned "microchip implants will be used to usher in a never-before-seen level of totalitarian control"—an Israeli professor and New York Times bestselling...

    Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

    Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

    If you have found yourself in the direct path of a searing fire in life, your bravest choice is to recognize who God is and then glorify Him as Lord. If you refuse to recognize the character and goodness of God when the temperature of life is uncomfortably high, you...

    Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

    Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

    I love a party or any get together where there is food. How about you? However, it is a big excuse many use for not losing weight. I had this excuse. It went something like this, “I can’t lose weight because I want to eat at family gatherings, parties, church carry-in...

    Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

    Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

    Here’s an honest confession: I struggle to rest in the Lord. Maybe I’m a bit compulsive, but I find it difficult to be still and know that God is working when I can’t see what He’s doing. When I need the Lord to do something in my life, I tend to “help Him” do it. But...

    3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

    3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

    If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. It was spectacular to watch him play basketball. He’d make “impossible” shots with only three seconds left on the clock and win the game, It happened … for years! What you might not know is that he...

    RECENT ARTICLES

    How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

    Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power,...
    Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

    Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

    One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

    Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

    Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

    On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

    Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

    Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

    Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

    Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

    Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

    On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

    The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

    The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

    During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

    How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

    How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

    All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

    Pin It on Pinterest