Holiday Madness: Tips to Stay Stress-Free
The holiday season is finally here, and for many, this means a time of good tidings, cheer and stress. ‘Tis the season to resort to bad habits and heightened emotions, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding ways to relieve stress is at the utmost importance, and are some ways to keep your stress in check.
Take Calm Down Breaks
One technique my therapist taught me long ago was to close your eyes after waking up, take a deep breath and just relax. You can take it farther by meditating if you’d like, but this very simple routine could make a big difference in your day. Whenever you begin to get stressed out it is always a good idea to take a quick relaxation break anywhere between one to five minutes. Conscious, slow breathing will help calm you down in the line at the supermarket, when your child talks back or whenever you’ve simply had enough.
When you act generously to your loved ones, co-workers and friends, it helps you stay calm, content and cheerful. The best part: it doesn’t break the bank! Be generous with compliments, offer to run an errand for a loved one or maybe write a thank you note. The possibilities are endless! When you are creative and give gifts that come from the heart, people see your authentic self and love it all the more!
One of the best ways to stay stress-free is to exercise. Research shows physical activity boosts your energy and fitness levels, as well as evaluates your mood! This is not the season to stop exercising. Between the stress and the extra carbs, we have our work cut out for us. It’s a great time to make use of the bike we all bought and never ended up using. So get out, get active and get happy!
Prepare “To Do” Lists
Preparing a “To Do” list is a very helpful way of managing holiday, and even every day, stress. Writing what needs to be done down leaves little to the imagination and allows you to see how do-able tasks are. Be realistic and then, slowly, begin to tackle each task listed. If you create multiple lists, alternate between them. For example, after completing some holiday shopping, bake your favorite cookies. This way you won’t feel deprived because you are being good to yourself. When you practice self-care and are good to yourself, you become fully available to those around you, without any resentment or anger, although sometimes people still get on my last nerve.
Eat Real Foods
It might be tempting, but do not use the holidays to stuff yourself with sugar. During the holidays, more than ever, you need to eat real foods that provide you with proper nutrients to be your most happy, energetic and focused self. The best foods for you at the moment are leafy greens, lean proteins and healthy fats. It is also easy to use this time to overuse alcohol or caffeine, but remember your body is a temple, not a trash can. It is best to take polite portions, which are considered to be three to five sips or bites of a bad substance and no more. Remember, you are only as good as what you feed your body. Do you really want your body to be a McDonald’s?
Let the season be full of good tidings and cheer instead of stress and anger. Practice good habits and you might even create new traditions!
If you get overly stressed and these tips just aren’t cutting it, time to wind down with a nice tall glass of wine!