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Take the Stress Out of Your Holiday!

Take the Stress Out of Your Holiday!

While ‘tis the season to be merry, for many of us, it’s also a season for stress and anxiety. During this time of year, people often resort to bad habits—they may cave into sugar cravings, OD on caffeine or lose patience easily. That’s because, during the holidays, people tend to experience heightened emotions. You may feel overwhelmed by your “to do” list, or become annoyed or lose patience with your loved ones.

In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays, which puts their health at risk.

To help you have a happy season, here are 6 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress.

  1. Take calm-down breaks. Soon after you awake, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and meditate or just relax. Try this a few times a day.
  2. Get moving.Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays or any other time is to exercise regularly. Research shows that physical activity not boosts your fitness and energy levels but can reduce anger, tension, fatigue and confusion.
  3. Go for real foods (mostly). At this time of year, you’ll be tempted with sugary, empty-calorie “treats” just about wherever you go. But to be your most energetic, it’s best to fruits and veggies, healthy fats and lean protein.
  4. Take polite portions of “comfort” foods and drinks.During the holidays, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and use—or over-use—alcohol, sugar and caffeine. It’s best to think before you treat your body like a trash can instead of a temple. The best way to stay true to the best you is to limit your consumption of such comfort or pleasure foods.
  5. Prepare “Nice To Do For Me" and “Need to Do For You” lists. Writing down all that you have to do during the holidays will help you realize how do-able your tasks are. Be realistic as to what you put on your lists. Then start tackling one item from each list in turn. 
  6. Be generous.One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, co-workers and friends. This doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. When you are creative with your gifts and thank you’s, people will appreciate your real, heartfelt sentiments.

 

Excerpt from Psychology Today

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