Simple Ways to Stress-Proof Your Holidays
Each year, around Thanksgiving, we resolve to celebrate the real meaning of the holidays. We vow we will be kind to others and to ourselves, not over-eat, or drink too much and above all, we plan to avoid the excessive stress we usually experience during this festive season.
Despite our good intentions, we usually end up running ourselves ragged. Impossibly high expectations and additional chores that complicate already overloaded schedules often create an overwhelming sense of disappointment, rather than the joyous holiday spirit the season promises.
Sometimes, even our plans to avoid stress are so complicated they actually create it. Just for you, and just in time for the holidays, here are some simple, do-able tips to help you avoid holiday burn-out:
- Try mindful eating. Nutritionist and author Kathie Madonna Swift, RD has a great suggestion to counteract the holiday pounds that can accumulate from stress eating, "When you sit down to a meal, close your eyes and gently breathe in and out three times to bring your body into the present moment and prepare yourself to digest the meal."
- Take a media break or news fast, suggests Andrew Weil "Research has shown that the emotional content of the news can affect mood and aggravate sadness and depression." He also suggests you:
- Laugh it off. According to Dr. Weil, laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress. These two suggestions, taken together, mean it would be a good idea to switch the TV channel to a comedy, rather than watching the news.
- Cut down on shopping and shipping trips. Holiday shopping is much more fun when you make fewer trips. Make that happen by shopping online and having gifts shipped directly to the recipients. Visit our Online Store to see how easy it is, and how many wonderful new holiday gifts we've added this year.
- Simply Stretch. Try some simple stretching exercises in the morning or when you feel stressed, and focus on releasing negative energy and inviting positive energy into your body.
- Breathe. When you feel stressed, take three deep breaths and try to clear your mind of all thoughts before resuming your activity. For more tips on using breathing and yoga to counteract stress, try Amy Weintraub's Breathe to Beat the Blues.
- Practice Staying in the Moment. From BR's Tips to De-Stress the Holidays: By mindfully going about your day, putting your awareness into what you are doing at the moment, you will be using even mundane, everyday activities as the focus of meditation, and simple as it sounds, you will regain peace and balance. Yes, peeling potatoes can be a route to spiritual attainment and inner peace!
- Notice Little Moments of Beauty and Sweetness. Also from BR: Notice beauty around you and take a moment to breathe it in... same with a smile, a gracious act, a loving gesture. Practicing gratitude for these lovely bits and pieces of daily life is a potent way to de-stress, and it's contagious, too.
- Pamper Yourself. Take the time for some healthy self-indulgence, take a walk outside, a well-deserved nap or a luxurious bath. Try our new Spoil Me Spa Bath.