Whether it’s hosting your entire extended family for Christmas dinner or trying to cram in last-minute shopping, the holidays can be an incredibly stressful time. With so many commitments, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything on your to-do list, and you may forget to take time for yourself. This season, it’s time to say goodbye to holiday stress.
Manage Holiday Stress Naturally
Here at Natural Healthy Concepts, we’re always looking for the best ways to naturally support our health, especially around the holidays. We’ve come up with five tips that may help you have a happy and stress-free holiday!
Sometimes it seems like the holidays have become synonymous with indulgence. From the peppermint brownies your coworker brings to the office to the apple pie your grandma makes every year, almost every holiday get together offers an opportunity to eat sugary treats. However, too much sugar can contribute to feelings of stress and tiredness, which may affect your mood during the holidays. (Read this post to learn more.)
Too much sugar also delivers a source of empty calories that could instead be filled with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Additionally, when your body consumes too much sugar, it may dampen the receptors that tell your brain to stop eating, and you may end up consuming far more than you intended.
This year, focus on filling up with foods that are good for you. Choosing to incorporate leafy greens, whole grains, citrus fruits, and protein-rich foods like chicken and fish will not only help you feel better, but they’ll also deliver the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
Even though the colder months make it tempting to curl up on the couch with a blanket, making the time to exercise can have many potential benefits during the holiday. In addition to supporting your overall health and maintaining muscle health, exercise can be a great way to manage stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports,
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.
Whether it’s taking the family on a hike, or hitting the gym for 30 minutes, you might be surprised how exercise calms your mind and leaves you ready to tackle your next holiday to-do.
If you need extra motivation to get moving, try finding a workout buddy to keep you accountable, or sign up for a local race that benefits a good cause. Of course, picking the perfect playlist and fueling up with your favorite green shake is also a great way to get in the workout mindset.
While it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day (especially during the holidays), taking the time to get a proper amount of rest may support a healthier mood and outlook. It may seem obvious, but a lack of sleep can contribute to your stress levels during the holidays. According to the American Psychological Association, there is a direct link between sleep and stress. In a stress and sleep survey, adults who got less than eight hours of sleep per night were far more likely to report stress-related symptoms such as feeling irritable and angry, feeling overwhelmed, and lacking interest, motivation, and energy. If you want more information about sleep and your health, check out our post here.
If you find that you’re having difficulties getting a full night of sleep (read this post to learn more about why you’re not sleeping), try fitting in a short nap during the day. The National Sleep Foundation reports that a nap of 20-30 minutes can potentially benefit your energy levels, mood, and promote alertness. You can also try a sleep supplement like this one.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support health, and these oils are used to support everything from head pain relief to memory support. This holiday season, trying aromatherapy may be a natural way to calm your mind during times of stress. You can choose a holiday specific scent like fir, frankincense, or peppermint, or scents like lavender and vanilla that seek to support a healthy mood. Many oils are also available in blends that offer stress support.
Essential oils are also versatile— you can diffuse them, use them as massage oils, or add them to bath products. Simply find the oil that works best for you and makes you feel happiest.
Take Time for Yourself
One of the secrets to a stress-free season is making sure you re-center and refocus yourself, and remind yourself of the things that matter. Depending on your preference, taking the time to slow down and enjoy your favorite cup of tea, read a few pages of your favorite book before bed, practice your coloring, or starting your day with a few calming breaths can be the perfect balm for recharging your mind and may help you with holiday stress.
While the holidays can be a source of stress, they can also be a time of joy. Focusing on the time spent with family and friends may also help you to relax and enjoy. We hope that these tips can help you have a more restful and healthy holiday season!
How do you handle holiday stress? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!