The holidays are something we all strive to enjoy, but they can also be a cause of stress for many. Holiday shopping, family gatherings, travel and so on…can turn this “merry” season into the season of stress! But all the holiday hustle and bustle doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your goals. Too much stress is bad for your health and affects those around you from enjoying the holiday season too. Here are some holiday stress relief tips to help you stay focused and relax this holiday season.
- Take a deep breath. The act of deep breathing allows your mind to focus on the present moment and stop the worry train. Take a deep inhalation through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill up completely, and as you exhale through your nose, visually your stress floating away.
- Smile. When you smile, feel-good chemicals are released into the bloodstream, taking the place of stressful chemicals. So smile and watch the world smile back at you. Smiling is also a great way to start a conversation and meet new people.
- Calm music. Relaxing music’s long, slow, spaced-out beats require less energy for the brain to process, and its predictive structure can be almost meditative.
- Visualize. Whether you take a few minutes to visualize a serene setting that you’d love to be in, or imagine what the life of your dreams looks like, visualization gives your mind a break from the stress you’re feeling and helps you keep sight of your goals.
- Make to-do lists. Knowing what needs to be done can help you navigate what you need to do for the day, and it allows you to focus on the tasks at hand and not on remembering all of them. As you finish them, check them off. At the end of the day, you’ll see how much you have really accomplished and how much closer you are to achieving your goals. Making this list the night before can even lead to a less stressful morning.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Staying up too late can cause one to wake tired and depleted, and even everyday tasks will take more time and energy. Sleep is essential.
- Relax your muscles. Focus on one muscle at a time; tense it for a few seconds then relax it and notice that sensation of relaxing. Begin at the top of your body and work your way all the way down until your body is completely relaxed.
- Have a cup of tea. Chamomile tea to be exact. Chamomile tea has calming agents that can relax the body both through breathing them in and drinking them.
- Take a hot bath. Soaking in a hot bath relaxes the muscles that tense up every time stress hits the body. Ease them by slipping into a warm tub for a half hour or more.
- Get SWEATY! Research has proved a good workout relieves stress and allows for a better nights sleep.
- Have a dance party. Pump up the volume and break out any move that feels good. You might feel silly, but the combination of exercise and feel-good music will put you in a better frame of mind! (this is one my children always like and it helps get everyone laughing – remember our stress affects them too!
- Stretch. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your body tenses up immediately and quite often does not relax unless you consciously make an effort to relax it. Stretching is a great way to relax those tense muscles. Stretch several times a day. Your body will thank you.
I hope these tips allow you to enjoy your holiday season with a little more cheer and a lot less stress!