The holiday season craziness starts earlier every year, and you aren’t the only one feeling frazzled and exhausted as the stress of the upcoming holiday season looms. Here are some ideas to chill out, relieve your holiday stress, and create some bliss.
Plan a fun get-together
December is often filled with family get-togethers, office parties, and other gatherings that may not be a high priority. Instead, invite a few close friends to get together at your home. Keep it simple. Sandwiches or finger foods are perfect. After you eat, break out some games. Laughter is a known stress-reliever, and games like Pictionary, Don’t Make Me Laugh, or Drawing Without Dignity are perfect to bring levity to the party. You can simplify your life even further by holding your get together at a local coffee house or a favorite local restaurant. This way no one has to clean up.
Enjoy some music
Studies have shown that quiet classical music can slow your pulse and heart rate and lower blood pressure. But if Bach isn’t your thing, any music can offer holiday stress relief if it acts as a distraction. Incorporating music into your exercise routine or hot tub soak can enhance the stress relief benefits of these activities. There are also benefits of hot tub yoga in cold weather.
Check Your Priorities
Holiday stress can come from being overcommitted or feeling obligated to make everyone happy. This can range from your in-laws to your local charity. If a family tradition doesn’t make you happy, it won’t hurt to drop it from your annual repertoire. Or, choose only one cause to volunteer your time this season. There will be plenty of time to make up for it in February when organizations are hurting for help and the spirit of giving seems to have trickled off.
Keep Your Energy Up
During the holiday season, meals tend to be an indulgence followed by deprivation. Or you may be rushing around so much trying to check off items on your to-do list that you forget to stop and eat. Keep stress hormone levels level with five smaller meals per day. If you need a quick pick-me-up while shopping, try a handful of nuts, yogurt, a banana, blueberries, or carrots, which are all foods that help lower stress. Tea can also help calm frazzled nerves.
Boost Your Energy Even More with Exercise
Exercise increases endorphins, which are the chemicals in the brain that make you feel happier and more relaxed. But after all the craziness, you may not feel like working out. Find holiday stress relief with an early morning exercise workout before you get too busy or too tired. Or, turn your shopping into a workout session by strapping on ankle weights, walking the mall for at least 10 minutes between stops.
Finally, don’t feel obligated to accept every invitation you receive. Simply respond with, “Sorry, I can’t”. This will suffice even if it’s because you’ll be seeking holiday stress relief in your backyard hot tub. Soothe aching feet as the jets deliver a hydromassage and the warm water improves circulation and boosts endorphins. Get the most out of your hot tub this winter.
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