It’s the Most __________Time of the Year

By Julie Rowin, MD

Fill in the blank. What word would you use to describe this time of year? Wonderful, stressful, joyful?

The 2019 Holiday Season is upon us. This means that it’s a wonderful time for some and stressful time for others.

What can you do to avoid getting caught up in the stress of the holiday season? Or even better, how do you go from feeling stressed out to actually enjoying it? Here are some suggestions from health coach Maria Zepeda at

  • Recognize your feelings. Recognize that you don’t have to feel happy because it’s on the calendar. If you are going through a rough patch or have had a hard year, realize that it’s normal to feel sad and not be excited about the holidays. Take time to recognize and accept your feelings.  
    • Ask yourself, “how do I feel right at this minute?” and acknowledge your feelings.
  • What do YOU want to do? Now that you have acknowledged your feelings, the next question is, what do I WANT to do this holiday season. Not what do my friends or family want, but what do I WANT. Once you have figured out what your true desire for this holiday season is, make it that. Do you want to put up holiday decorations? Do you want to go to the holiday party? 
    • Allow your heart to dictate what you really feel like doing and follow your heart. It’s ok to say No.  
  • Get out of your head. It’s important to not get lost in your thoughts and think about what is “surely to go wrong during Christmas dinner.” Focus on what you can control, which is your thoughts, your outlook, and mindset. 
    • Stay present. Avoid focusing on what’s happened in the past or try to predict what may happen in the future. 
  • Avoid comparisons. Comparing yourself to others and what they are or aren’t doing for the holiday season can result in feeling defeated. Their situation isn’t your situation. 
    • Everyone’s experience is different.
  • Be grateful for what you have and accept your reality. It’s easy to complain about what we don’t have and easier to overlook what we do have. 
    • Practicing gratefulness is life-transforming.

These simple steps can make the season less stressful for you and your body. We hope that you find them helpful and share them with those that you love.

Wishing you and your family, health for the holidays and throughout the New Year.

About Dr. Julie Rowin

Dr. Julie Rowin
Dr. Julie Rowin

Dr. Julie Rowin is a board-certified neurologist, neuromuscular specialist, and acupuncturist.  She completed her medical school training and Internship in Chicago at Northwestern University Medical School in 1993.  She went on to do her Residency and Fellowship training in Neurology, Neuromuscular Medicine and Electromyography at Rush University.  She was Assistant Professor of Neurology at Rush University from 1998-2004.  Then from 2004-2013, she was Associate Professor of Neurology and founding director of the MDA/ALS Center and MDA Clinics in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Rowin became interested in Functional Medicine and Acupuncture in 2012 and is currently in private practice in the Chicagoland area.  She has obtained additional board certification in Integrative Medicine and Medical Acupuncture.  She also has training in Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga.  Her holistic healing approach to the treatment of adult neurological conditions integrates nutrition, acupuncture, mind-body energetics with conventional medical management.  Dr. Rowin is a sought-after public speaker, leader, educator and author on the subject of disease prevention and integrative management of neurological and neuromuscular disease.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and has been involved in numerous public speaking engagements on the topic of integrative and functional medicine management of neurological and neuromuscular disease.

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