Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays
Photo by Waldemar / Unsplash

Anyone you ask will tell you that life can be stressful, but it hits a whole new level starting around Halloween.

Between arranging travel to see family hundreds of miles away and planning to smuggle Junior's gifts, it's no wonder we are stressed. Add in deadlines at work, flu season, the crowds in the supermarket, and keeping years old traditions, we can just kiss your sanity goodbye.

Increased stress can lead to high blood pressure, chest pain, a lowered immune system, and sleep and digestive problems to name a few things.

So, I've put together six tips to help you keep it together this season.

1. Sleep

Try to get good sleep by using sleep hygiene. It involves setting a bedtime and sticking to it. Wind down about an hour before. No electronics, but if you have to, use them on night mode with the blue light waves low or off.

Develop a ritual of relaxation with soft music, or a shower to calm your mind. This is the opposite of tackling the bills or watching an action movie right before bed.

Also, Some remedies are Melatonin or Valarian root to naturally aid sleep. Resting enough during the night will help you recharge and face the day head on.

an unmade bed with a white comforter on top of it
Photo by jurien huggins / Unsplash

2. Nutrition

Eating regular, well balanced meals is vital for your health and energy. People tend to think of stress as just a mind thing, but your body can literally be in a fight or flight state at times, consuming precious nutrients.

Vitamins are also a good idea. Both will help your immune system and hopefully keep you out of the sick bed.

3. Exercise

It's as simple as taking a short walk to clear your head. Doing a few stretches or ten minutes of yoga to focus on your breathing can make all the difference.

The point is to move away from the stressful stimuli for a little while and take a chill pill. It can do wonders for your mood and even creativity.

If you feel like you're being pulled in every direction and are about to go off like a firework on the Fourth of July, take five!

4. Meditation

There are all kinds of meditation from simply focusing on your breathing, to being mindful, guided meditation, mantra, body scan, etc.

Depending on they type you try or your ability to focus, it may take longer to get in the groove, but It definitely has it's rewards.

I love Andrew Johnson and have been using his material for years. I highly recommend his apps for guided meditation and relaxation.

5. Get good at saying "No"

How many of us have committed to things to appease people? Later we find that our schedule is jammed packed with obligations and we're stressed out trying to keep up. That is not how it is supposed to be.

Let this serve as a reminder not to stretch yourself too thin or over commit your time. It is valuable after all.

A simple, "No thanks, I have other plans," should be locked and loaded for some of us. Seriously, I believe in you!

6. Do what brings you joy

The holidays themselves can be a trying time for some. It can be a sad time that may conjure bitter memories and you may not want to celebrate it at all.

To that I say, do what does bring you joy. If it's reading, do that. Maybe you're a creative, or an animal person. Immerse yourself in the the things that make you smile, and watch the stress begin to fade.

I've seen people time and again run on empty and pay no attention to themselves until they give out. It doesn't have to be like that. Taking a few minutes here and there to care for yourself is all it takes to be well.

a person holding their hand up to the sun
Photo by Yurii Khomitskyi / Unsplash