Manage Stress During The Holidays: 10 Tips For Instant Results
As the holiday season descends upon us, many of us are already getting out our decorations, planning holiday visits and organizing our shopping lists. So exploring how to manage stress effectively, is essential. There are endless lists to make and endless errands to run, not to mention the many arrivals of out of town relatives.
The holidays are that one time of year when everyone deals with managing stress in a vast myriad of ways, but this year, you can choose something new and different and thus, get thru the holidays stress free! Here’s a great plan with actionable steps that you can start applying now!
Here Are 10 Ways You Can Manage Stress Effectively at the Holidays:
Chances are, you will be quite busy doing a lot of nice things for others, so don’t forget to place yourself on that list too! Cuddling and affection are known to reduce the blood pressure and calm the mind, so hold someone in your arms, or your pet for at least 3 minutes so you can get the stress relieving, calming benefits. Luckily, even hugging trees is beneficial and it relieves stress, so ’tis the season to remember to hug everyone and everything!
Result: Your approach will be more serene and intuitive.
2. Don’t let the holiday blues get you down.
Understand that the holiday blues are normal and everyone goes through them.
Some people are in the blues because of all of the family obligations they will have while others are in the blues because they have no family or are too far. Wherever you look, people have their down moments during the holidays, so realize that you’re not the only one feeling that way and decide to take action to lift your blues. Take a long walk in the fresh air of a park or do some journaling about things you like in your life, then you can apply some laughter therapy. Realize it’s ok to get down, but you don’t want to stay down and taking action will help you.
Result: You will connect with the world around you instead of feeling different from others.
3. Do regular check-ins with yourself to evaluate how you’re doing.
If you’re starting to feel stressed, that’s the time to stop before it gets to be too much. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need a break, then take it. Remember way #1 and be good to yourself. Go get a massage or take a hot bath. The winter gives us less contact with natural sunlight and this can lead to a sluggish feeling, so remember to nuture yourself by getting as much natural sunlight during the day as you can. Let positive self-talk help you by saying to yourself “I’m commited to having a serene holiday season this year!”
Result: You will stay dedicated to your inner intentions.
4. Keep it simple.
You might tend to do too much during the holiday season, so it’s a good time to ask yourself if everything you always do during the holidays is really necessary. As a society, many times we get so caught up in getting the right gifts, cooking the right food, and having the right decorations that we forget the true meaning of the holiday season. If you keep it simple, it’s easier to align yourself with the essence of the holidays and thereby, cultivate ideas that are in harmony with the true simplicity of the holiday season, which makes managing stress during the holidays a lot easier.
Result: You will see what’s really important and gain deeper perspective.
5. Make a firm decision.
If you decide right now, here, today, that you will not stress over whatever you have stressed over at past holiday seasons, chances are, you won’t. Many times, it takes making a conscious decision about what your holiday season really means to you, then sticking with it. This can also be applied to the things you feel you “have to do”. If you feel you have to do something undesireable, then ask yourself if the world would end if you didn’t do it. Chances are, it might only create some waves in the sea, but “smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors”. If you practice managing stress well during your holidays, know that you’ll have that extra ability for other matters during the year, as well.
Result: You will gain inner courage, strength and peace by eliminating unnecessary stress.
6. Forget the past pains.
This one might be a little tough to apply, but creative visualization can help you! If you’ve decided you will go to that relative’s house knowing that that is the relative who always insults you, then put way #5 into action by deciding that you will let those painful words go in one ear and out the other. Set up your game plan in advance and visualize yourself making your new responses. Maybe when that relatve starts, you’ll see that as your cue to go walk the dog or take out the trash.
Result: You will free yourself from past burdens.
7. Practice saying “No, that’s not something I can do right now”.
Too many times you might feel stressed because you have taken on too much. You have even more obbligations and duties during the holidays season, so that’s even more reason why it’s important to practice saying no. Take this holiday season as an opportunity for you to excercise your capacity to set boundaries and chances are, your boundaries will be respected next holiday season, as well.
Result: You teach others how to respect your time and energy.
8. Do something totally different!
Sometimes a diversion from “the usual routine” or something spontaneous is all you need to loosen up and gain new perspective. Consider going away for the holidays. Do you remember the fabulously funny movie Home Alone? Maybe it’s time to try spending the holiday season in a different city (without leaving behind your kids!), or a great time to try hiking in the mountains.
Result: You open your mind to accept and receive new rewarding experiences!
9. Eat specific food.
Instead of french fries and pizza, try eating more rice and pasta because these types of carbohydrates will give you serotonin, which is the hormone which sends happy feelings to your brain. If you’re at the mall, instead of getting some potato chips, try almonds which will in turn, give you mood stabilizing hormones like dopamine. Even chocolate contains the important stress relieving magnesium and is also known to lower stress levels. You can read more on that at this source.
Result: By taking care of your inside, your outside will be stronger, feel better!
10. Make frequent foot massages.
All you need is an old sock and 2 tennis balls. Then run your bare feet over the tennis balls in the sock and indulge in the pleasurable feeling! You will be massaging over 7,000 endorphines which will invigorate as well relax you!
Result: By remembering to be good to yourself, you will have a much more positive attitude about all of the other things you will be doing for others.
Managing stress during the holidays is a challenge for most people, but if you can try new ways to manage stress at a time like the holidays, then you will have an edge on managing stress during the whole year, as well!
Let us know which ways you’re going to apply this holiday season, or feel free to share some new tips with us in the comments section.
We look forward to seeing which practice you will commit to in the comments section! You’ll notice that by just commenting on your commitment, you will (even without necessarily realizing it) honor your decision as opportunities to implement your commitment will “coincidentally” appear. That’s what’s happened with me on countless occasions. One thing is for sure, life always shows the areas to be improved upon until action is taken to improve them, so I hope you get some great results!