Are you ready for the holidays?
Although the coming season is supposed to be filled with celebrations, love and laughter, many people experience anxiety and high levels of stress.
Why is it that excessive alcohol, decadent desserts, and late night partying seem to take over any desire to eat well, exercise, and go to bed early?
Here are 10 tips to reduce holiday stress this season.
1 – Breathe
If you’re feeling anxious, here’s my advice.
Pause, take a deep breath in for 5 seconds and exhale thoroughly. Deep breathing improves the way that you respond to stress. It also provides oxygen to your brain and tissues.
Since the lungs are an elimination pathway, we release up to 70% of toxins with deep breathing.
2 – Manage your busy schedule
Shop early, write out your ‘to-do list’ before bed, and remember, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every single invitation.
3 – Be diligent with taking your supplements
This time of year, popular supplements are vitamin C (1000mg), selenium (200mcg), zinc (30mg), vitamin D (1000IU), and B vitamins. Probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids are usually taken year round.
4 – Be nice to your gut
If you’re planning on overindulging at a holiday party, you may want to help your body out by taking digestive enzymes before you eat.
You can always go easy on the wine and hors d’oeuvres. If you do, I’m sure your body will thank you.
5 – Load up on garlic
If you don’t want to eat raw garlic, I understand. But keep in mind, garlic is like nature’s antibiotic. It may help fight off bacteria and viruses, so why not add garlic to salads, steamed veggies, and hummus.
6 – Increase your serotonin levels
Serotonin is known as the hormone that greatly influences mood and overall well-being. It is the chemical messenger in your body that is responsible for restful sleep, relaxation, calmness, inner balance, and appetite satiety.
Increase your consumption of squash, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and dark chocolate. These are some of my favourite foods that may help naturally boost serotonin levels.
7 – Jump on an exercise routine
Regular exercise helps maintain appropriate levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your mood. Don’t make excuses that you’re too busy for exercise.
Make exercise a priority!
8 – Get adequate sleep
Insufficient sleep will increase the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol. Once cortisol is elevated, you are more likely to put on weight, experience mood changes, and feel unbalanced.
You’ll also be an easier target for viruses and bacteria. Aim for 6-8 hours per night.
9 – Use your extended health benefits before they expire
Book a therapeutic massage or relaxing acupuncture treatment. Both massage and acupuncture can reduce cortisol levels, increase pleasure hormones, and strengthen the immune system.
Keep in mind that certificates for massage or acupuncture make great holiday gifts.
10 – Bond with your partner
This may help boost your immunity, reduce cortisol, and help you sleep.
Cuddling releases our favourite love hormone, oxytocin. And, when you’re high on oxytocin, you can handle stress better.
Learning how to manage stress is one of the most important factors in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Take a moment and list practices that help you manage stress. Now pencil these practices into your busy holiday schedule.
Your well-being depends on your body’s ability to continuously re-establish balance when stress comes into play. If you feel overwhelmed by stress and can’t manage it well, why not follow my holiday survival tips?
Your body will be grateful, and you might cheer in the New Year looking and feeling fantastic.