Coping with Holiday Stress

It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost upon us. This means our already busy lives have the potential to get even that much more hectic. From traveling for a holiday celebration, to having to host family members, or dinner of your own, the holidays can be a stressful time. It is very easy to let that stress overcome us and rob some of the joy from what should be a time to reflect on what we are thankful for and to truly enjoy our family and friends. The good news is that you can do quite a bit to relieve the stress and anxiety you may feel this holiday season, and even better, they are all natural. Check out these tips to ensure you are getting the most out of this holiday season.

  • Be sure you are sleeping the right amount. Getting too little sleep can make you edgy and cranky while too much sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and depressed. Finding the optimal amount of sleep time for your body can make a difference in your stress levels.
  • It’s likely that most people have experienced the effects of being hangry, whether it be you personally or a family member. For those who don’t know, hangry is a state that is reached when you are so hungry you become angry. Thus, hangry. It’s important that you eat a healthy and balanced diet during the holiday season. Regardless of how stressed the season can get or how convenient that quick, on the go meal may be, nothing can beat a diet full of fresh and organic produce. Not only will eating a healthy, balanced diet help you avoid becoming hangry, it will also help you stay healthy during this busy holiday season. Because if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, being sick during the holiday season will definitely take you there.
  • Make sure you are exercising regularly. There is a great deal of research that shows the benefits of exercising due to the endorphins that are released in your brain during and after working out. These endorphins are proven stress relievers themselves. There is also a great deal of research that supports a correlation between yoga and an overall lower stress level. A recent study found that 25 out of 35 participants found to have a significant decrease in anxiety and/or stress after adding a yoga routine to their work out.
  • Try getting a massage. This is a great way to relax tense muscles and reduce pain. When your body feels better you are likely to have better mental health.
  • Disconnecting and meditating can be a great way to reduce stress levels. While technology is a great tool, it can often be a source of stress for many. As little as 15 minutes a day of unplugging from your phone and just sitting in silence can make a huge difference on your stress levels.
  • The use of essential oils and aromatherapy can be a great way to reduce stress. Experts say the scents can stimulate your limbic system and have a great effect on your stress levels. Lavender, rosemary, and cypress have all been found to help reduce stress levels.
  • Make sure you are taking a multivitamin each day. Not only will this help you stay healthy during an already stressful time, but B vitamins specifically have been found to promote proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Taking a simple multivitamin will help ensure you are not missing any essential vitamins from your diet.

These are just a few of the ways you can handle the stresses of the holidays, there are also several more. No matter what method you choose to go with, see it through and remain consistent. This is the time of year you truly get to enjoy being with those you care about, don’t let stress stop you from doing so.

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