I must confess to feeling a little out of the loop on these topics. I say I'll commit to "today's challenge" (most days), because usually there's some portion of the challenge that strikes me as an improvement I could make. But it strikes me that these challenges are targeted at women whose lives became stressed out, or who overindulged, during the ubiquitous Holidays, and much as I hate to sound smug -- that's not me.
Smugness has nothing to do with it, actually. It's just that I spent the six weeks *before* Christmas "de-toxing," only it's called a modified fast. It consists of vegan food -- vegetables, fruits, and grains. No meat, no dairy -- and no need to detox post-Christmas, because actually, it's the Twelve Days of Christmas when you're supposed to be feasting (December 25-January 6), which is a lot shorter than the 30 or so days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Stress relief...well...I have a built-in secret weapon there, too. Belonging to a religious tradition that celebrates Christmas on January 7, I have from Thanksgiving to December 25 to focus on the shopping, the presents, the cards -- no need to worry about parties, since I'm not partying -- and then, after all of that goes away, I still have two weeks to zero in on the meaning of Christmas! "That's cheating," you may say, and frankly, it feels like it.
But there's such simplicity to it. I mean, you don't need to gorge on caloric treats if you've been restricting your diet for six weeks prior -- just the taste of meat is glorious. My Facebook page is filled with comments from members of my religious community about the meals they've been fixing that contain meat: One woman (with six children) noted that she'd bought ten pounds of bacon, somebody else wrote about beef Stroganoff, I was revelling in Shepherd's Pie.
And while Religion, seen as a "belief system," is certainly good at producing stress -- sometimes known as [fill-in-the-blank] Guilt -- it can have a calming influence, too, as you make time to meditate on contact (prayer??) with whatever you sense is Larger Than Just Me. Fifteen minutes in the morning, and maybe ten minutes at night, is enough to restore a sense of balance to your life, though I know some people, even with young children, who carve out as much as an hour at either end of the day.
For me, Detox and Stress Relief are spelled, "Russian Orthodox." It works for me.