It’s December, and you know what that means. Crisp winter air surrounds us, families reconnect and return home, and it is the season of love and giving. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It can also be the most stressful time of the year. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season does not settle well with many people. Crowded shopping malls, traffic like you would not believe, adding holiday shopping to your list of extracurricular activities, and spending unlimited amount of money on those holiday gifts makes it difficult to enjoy the most joyous and exciting time of the year. If you take a step back and slow down, you’ll realize there are many natural and healthy ways to destress and stay calm in overwhelming holiday situations.
- Plan Ahead – Whether it’s getting your Christmas shopping done, planning your holiday parties in advance, or cooking ahead of time, make sure you plan your seasonal schedule out in advance. You’ll avoid running around at the last minute trying to do everything all at once.
- Meditation – The most obvious and easiest form of relaxation. Meditation is the most popular way for Americans ease anxiety, stress, and boost mood and immunity. Find a quiet spot, play soothing music, close your eyes and take some deep breaths.
- Stay active – Preferably in the sunlight and outdoors! Yes it may be cold, but the fresh cool air will clear your mind, stimulate the production of feel-good serotonin, and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Take a whiff of citrus – Researchers have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
- More Vitamin D – Studies show that low vitamin D levels are linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. Salmon, fortified milk and egg yolks are rich sources of vitamin-D.
- Breakfast before coffee – Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can cause attention problems and irritability, says New York City–based clinical psychologist Joe Cilona, PsyD.
- Go on a vacation – If you can’t seem to handle being around the hustle and bustle of the holidays, leave! Go on a nice relaxing vacation with family or friends. Whether you need time off from work or time away from the kids, a vacation is always a good idea.
- Listen to your favorite tracks – Research from the University of Maryland shows that listening to your favorite music relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow.
- Spa Day – A day of rest and relaxation at the spa is a fun way to relax, either alone, with a significant other, or a group of your best friends.
- Drink Tea – Tea is high in L-Theanine, an amino acid that relaxes the brain and brings calm and focus.
Whichever one of these methods suits you best, we hope you find your way to stay relaxed during the holiday season and all throughout the year. Happy Holidays!