The holidays are my favorite time of the year. I love the foods, the scents, the decorations, the music, the parties and gatherings, and spending time with family and friends.
Unfortunately, this time of year can also be stressful for many of us as well because we’re constantly on the go. Don’t even get me started on buying Christmas presents or trying to find a parking space at the mall!
Stress is a nasty beast, and too much of it can lead to premature aging, breakouts, depression, heart disease, insomnia and anxiety.
Today I’m going to share some tips on how to manage stress. Hopefully, these will help you year-round and not just during the holidays.
Tips for over-coming holiday stress
Don’t be afraid to say no. If you feel as though you’re over-committed and you’ve said yes to one too many parties, it might be time to give yourself a break. There’s no shame in staying home or turning in early on a Friday night.
Sniff some lavender. Studies have shown that the smell of lavender oil or a lighted lavender scented candle can lower the levels of stress-related chemicals in your body.
Get a full night’s rest. To get some quality sleep, your room should be completely dark. You can even try using an eye mask just like my friend Brittney who is definitely on to something. I won’t tease you anymore, Brittney!
Mediate or take up yoga. Meditation will help you relax and unwind- and all you need is about 15 minutes. The emphasis in yoga on proper breathing has been shown to help alleviate stress. Plus, it will keep your body looking good!
Eat some chocolate. Snickers and Hershey bars leftover from Halloween don’t count. However, eating some real cocoa can increase the level of neurochemicals in your body and help you to relax. Not a bad deal, right?
Take a bath or a hot shower. Play some music (preferably by Lionel Richie), soak in some bubbles, light some candles, and maybe use some essential oils to help escape the stress of the day. A soak in the tub can work wonders!
Unplug every now and then. Instead of gluing yourself to your phone or laptop, let your mind relax by taking some time out for a walk with your pooch, reading a good book, or treating yourself to a manicure or pedicure. Trust me, those voice mails and emails will still be there when you get back- and so will those Angry Birds!
Write in your journal. Sometimes the simplest act of writing out our feelings can be so therapeutic. If you’re not a pen and paper kind of person, why not start a blog? If you’re hesitant to share your raw emotions with the rest of the world, you can set controls to make the blog private. If you make it public though, you may find a new support system out there and lots of people who can relate to how you’re feeling. It always helps to know that you’re not the only crazy person out there!
Do you tend to get stressed out during the holidays? If so, what are your tips for managing stress? When I’m feeling overwhelmed or down, I like to sing in my car. Well, I actually sing in my car ALL of the time. I am sure that I look like a fool to other drivers, but if I’m entertaining someone else who is having a bad day, I’d say that it’s totally worth the humiliation.
It’s funny, I did most of my things during late September and early October, when I was studying for my big one-subject-is-finished oral exam for my M.A. …
I get cramps (do you say that?) in my back, the front side of my bodies and my legs when I am very stressed out – not a very nice thing to have, especially not in the evenings!
Plus, I tend to grind my teeth together while sleeping – waking up at 4am with a jawbone that SCREAMS with pain is not nice as well.
So while I was studying, I started Yoga (at home. And it worked. Promise). I drank TONS of hot chocolate and tea.
I moved to my grandparents for almost a week, because I knew it would do me good.
And: I started knitting. My granny taught me. And chrocheting. As a contrast to all that ink and paper.
And that was a REALLY fantastic thing to do. Sitting down to knit myself my very first sock was an awesome thing to do after some time of studying … Plus, I could muse over what I had read or written.
The exam was fine – and I was FAR BETTER than at other, earlier exams.
I usually have a glass of wine while soaking in the tub – might have to try listening to Lionel too:) I think saying NO!, getting plenty of rest and unwinding are so important. Let’s not forget about chocolate and wine too! Thanks for sharing and Have a Great Day:)
Hi Grass Skirt! I mentioned your blog in my blog today. It’s apost on clean eating. I don’t get much traffic but hope to steer some your way. I am a devoted follower of yours. Here’s the link for my post today. Enjoy and keep up the great work.
I'm Erin, the happy gal behind The Grass Skirt, which is named after my signature smoothie. Here I share how I maintain a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle, my favorite recipes, workouts and products, and my love for Lionel Richie. Hope you'll enjoy reading!