Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress

Now that Thanksgiving is over, its full-on Christmas prep around these parts. And I for one always feel super anxious and stressed out this time of year. Although we are not travelling to the in-laws there are still other plans.

Between parties, gift exchanges and the decor around the house, stress creeps its way in. Here are my healthy tips for relieving with holiday stress.

 
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S: Sleep for 7-9 hours a night. This helps strengthen your resolve, improve your sanity, and maintain your weight. In fact, some studies show that when you get a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to make better food choices. Science also shows that when you’re sleep deprived, you tend to have higher levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, likely leading to a case of next-day munchies. If you’re having trouble getting a solid snooze, try making the bedroom a few degrees cooler, say “no” to electronics at bedtime, and avoid eating large, heavy meals late in the evening.

 T: Take time for you. While it’s tempting to reward yourself with edible goodies, consider treating yourself to non-food indulgences (they exist!). Need some ideas? Try a delicious-smelling candle, a fresh manicure, a bubble-bath or a Hallmark movie or two!

 R: Relax. Unwind and sooth away stress with a cup of chamomile tea, the active ingredient in chamomile tea also acts as a mild sedative and may help ease anxiety. 

 E: Exhale. Hit your internal “pause” button and take a few deep breaths. Think about three things you’re grateful for or three things you’re proud of. You’ll instantly feel more positive and less bogged down by the negative stuff thrown your way. Make this a consistent part of your holiday routine. Music optional.

 S: Smart Snacking. Before digging into treats lying around the house or office, ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or if you’re just stressed. If the answer is the latter, distract yourself with another activity; try calling a friend, taking a quick walk, reorganizing your purse or closet (if you’re home). And, if you can’t figure out which it is, have a stress relief snack on hand like a bag of crunchy baby carrots, creamy Greek yogurt, or an apple.

 S: Step it up. . Walk around the block, dance it out in your office, go for a run, park farther away at the mall, take the stairs, or pace while you’re on the phone. Aim for 10,000 steps each day to help you destress and stay fit. 

 How do you relieve holiday stress?