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Prepare for the Holidays

Holidays are a time to be grateful.Holidays – a word with so much meaning for all of us, can also equate to unnecessary stress. We each experience the holidays differently. We talk about the things we want to do – the parades, shopping, decorating our homes, giving and doing for others, who is and isn’t coming - however, have we asked ourselves, “what truly matters to me and those I love this holiday season?”

Have we wondered, “If I can pick only one thing that really matters the most, what would it be?”

Perhaps the answer should be love. While we may enjoy the holidays, they can also feel overwhelming with all the tasks and the worry that all might not go as planned. What matters most should be sharing time with those we love.

Love has a way of living inside us – in our hearts and minds – no matter where we travel this holiday season. We should carry love as we shop, prepare food, light candles, and socialize with others. We should share our love when we express gratitude and when we travel to visit family and friends. Wherever we go, we should want to take love with us.

Instead of pressure, insecurity, and disappointment, let’s remember why the holidays are so important to each of us. Whether you choose to express love as your sole purpose this holiday season or choose gratitude, health, or personal connections, you will be choosing to focus your energy on something positive.

The group support provided throughout the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program in Rehoboth Beach, emphasizes the importance of an individual’s outlook on life. While many struggle with poor eating habits or financial concerns during the year, these issues can explode during the holidays when other stress piles up.

The Ornish program is nationally recognized—through the results of more than 35 years of peer-reviewed, published research—for preventing, stopping, and even reversing the progression of heart disease.

The program consists of a lifestyle prescription which includes four pillars: Nutrition, Stress Management, Fitness, and Love and Support. All four pillars are equal in the reversal of heart disease, but this month we would like to focus on one that seems most appropriate for the upcoming holiday season – love and support.

Love and intimacy — our ability to connect with ourselves and others, is at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing.

Participants in the Ornish program spend two hours each week openly and safely discussing their feelings and finding their inner voice in the group support sessions. Throughout the sessions there is the continuous theme of listening to your heart and finding the love within. Each participant leaves the love and support sessions with an increased awareness of the meaning of love.

It is up to each of us to decide how we approach life. We can approach it with negativity or we can choose to open our hearts and minds to love. I choose love and I hope you do as well.

For more information on the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program, call (302) 645-3514 or go to