Don’t Let Stress Ruin the Holiday Season

by on November 3rd, 2011 at 7:00 am

Despite all the joys of the holiday season, stress can take the fun out of the festivities.  The average person typically has a long list of added responsibilities and activities during the end of the year, including parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name a few. For perfectionists, the need to please can really take its toll on overall well-being, and possibly even lead to a self-destructive meltdown.

While it seems impossible to carve out some downtime for yourself, it can make all the difference in helping you not only enjoy the events of the season, but help ward off illnesses that can come from stress-induced lowered immunity.

Follow these simple tips to stay calm:

  • Take a deep breath, (or a few of them) - Breathing rhythmically will help calm your heart rate down, which in turn relaxes the entire body. If you’re prone to getting tension headaches, try practicing this activity whenever you begin to feel stress levels skyrocket.
  • Close your eyes- Closing your eyes will help you re-gain perspective. Moving your eyes from side to side while they are still closed will also help you separate yourself from the negative emotions you may be experiencing.
  • Use visualization techniques- There are certain images that we can go back to when we feel overwhelmed. Pick one that works for you; it could be an animal, a person, or peaceful scenery. Words can be used similarly and just as effectively as mantras. Recalling your personal mantra or image can be an incredibly effective calming tool. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try this technique.
  • Exercise- It is well known that exercise relieves stress. One of the most important things you can do to prevent pent-up tension from wrecking health havoc is to work out. Try to at least take a brisk walk for a few minutes, each day. Encourage your friends and family to go with you for some quality healthy time together.
  • Watch your diet- Overindulging on foods that are high in fat, sugars, and additives is a sure way to get us all worked up for nothing. Try to limit your intake of these mood-altering foods.

 

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