The holiday season brings a lot of fun, activity, and joy; but unfortunately, it can also mean a lot of stress. Keep reading to learn how to enjoy the season without feeling the pressure.
High levels of stress can have a big impact on health, so it is important to do what you can to mitigate the effects of stress, particularly during holiday season when there can be so many demands on your time and energy.
Here are some ideas about how to manage the inevitable.
It is a simple-sounding thing that can be amazingly difficult to do when you have a lot on the go, but it is important to take a little time every day to tune out, relax, and just be. We must take time to unplug ourselves from stress on a daily basis.
Even if you only have five minutes to spare today, give it to yourself and enjoy doing absolutely nothing with it. This allows the body to experience a break in the stress and to reset and recover a little.
Get your zzzzs...
When we are short on time, sleep is usually the first thing we start to cut down. We are all guilty of skimping on sleep, but good sleep is one of the body’s best defences against stress and is crucial for proper immune function.
It is not just a matter of lying down and resting that provides health benefits; we must actually get proper, restorative sleep in order to keep ourselves in peak form.
Make time for fitness
The body used to dissipate a lot of its stress through the fighting or fleeing that came with our harsh living environment. Nowadays, we often just sit and stew in our stress.
Do your best to get at least 30 minutes of purposeful exercise most days of the week. Consider tai chi, yoga, and relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Choose stress-fighting foods
During fast-paced, high-stress times it is common for us to miss out on proper nutrition as we reach for quicker, convenient, and generally more processed foods. Just when our bodies need more nutritional support, we often provide them with less.
Generally, do all you can to avoid canned or packaged foods. Processed foods lose valuable nutrients, particularly B vitamins and magnesium—just the nutrients your body needs for support during stressful times! Focus on whole foods: unprocessed grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins.
For extra support, supplements such as vitamin C, B-complex, and herbal adaptogens can help to carry you through stressful times. Happy stress free holidays!