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Outsmart Holiday Stress

Managing stress, especially during the chaotic holiday season, can be key to maintaining your overall health. The importance of taking time out to get a massage every month cannot be underestimated. During the in-between time, however, here are a few tips to help you manage stress.

Make a list. For many of us, the time preceding the holidays can feel over-whelming. Trying to figure out what to take care of first can leave you feeling paralyzed. Pull out a calendar and look just one week ahead. Make a list of what you need to accomplish; then, prioritize your list in order of importance. As the week goes by, cross items off your list as you complete them. Seeing your list shrink will help you feel empowered and more in control.

Exercise. We all know that staying active is one key to overall wellness and weight control, but, according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise also has some very real stress-busting side effects. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of the body’s endorphins which improves your mood. Don’t make exercise just another chore; find an activity you enjoy—whether that’s meeting a friend for tennis or taking a ten-minute walk—and make it part of your daily routine.

Meditate. In many cases, taking deep breaths will be your body’s natural reaction to stress. Take advantage of this instinct by repeatedly inhaling slowly through your nose, holding the breath for a minute, and exhaling through your mouth. During this time, you can also try to clear your head of any stressful thoughts. Focus your mind on a peaceful image or favorite memory while at the same time taking deep, cleansing breaths.