The holidays are a special time. A time for gathering with friends and loved ones, for eating yummy foods, and for being thankful for all of the good things in your life. The holidays can also be a time for juggling multiple social commitments, checking off lengthy and expensive shopping lists, and trying to remember which cousins shouldn’t be seated next to each other at the big family dinner.
But instead of allowing the details of the season to become overwhelming, you can choose to take a deep breath and focus on what’s important. You. And your health. So in that spirit, we present four tips for minimizing holiday stress:
Calm Body; Calm Mind
When the running around becomes too much, stop and switch gears. Take the time to unwind and relax your mind and body through a restorative yoga class. Go for a jog. Hit the gym. Or dance around the living room. However you choose to get your exercise, just make sure to get it. The shopping and cooking and other errands will still be there afterwards, but you’ll feel energized and better prepared to deal with them. Taking time to move your body during this busy season isn’t selfish—it’s self-preservation.
Sleep On It
Yes, you’re busy. And there are holiday parties and marathon shopping trips and someone has to put the lights up. But if you think the holidays are stressful now, imagine how much more difficult they’d be if you added lack of sleep to the mix. It’s important to make time for sleep to prevent yourself from becoming run down and more susceptible to illness. Nobody wants to be sick for the holidays. Make the effort to hit the hay at a reasonable time and follow a relaxing nighttime routine to set yourself up for success. A melatonin supplement is one way to keep your circadian rhythms in sync and increase your total sleep time and gentle sleep-promoting supplements can also help.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry…but don’t overdo it
Most of us enjoy a little indulgence over the holiday season. Things just wouldn’t be the same without Grandma’s famous fudge, an extra helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, or a glass or two of eggnog. But rich foods, excess sugar, and alcoholic beverages can do a number on our bodies and our stress levels. When you’re feeling frazzled, comfort food may seem like a comforting choice, but over indulging can backfire and make you feel worse in the long run. That doesn’t mean you have to say no to that gingerbread man—enjoy one, but walk away from the rest of his gingerbread family and his gingerbread house.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Some cookies may not get baked. You may never get your hands on this year’s “it” toy. Perhaps you’ll seat cousin Amy next to cousin Julie (gasp!) at the big family dinner. But the holidays, and life, will go on. So relax and enjoy it. To help promote relaxation, try a calming supplement like Stress Rescue with L-Theanine. Take a deep breath, think happy thoughts, and try to remember why you’re putting yourself through this stress in the first place—to create a memorable holiday for you and your loved ones.