By Dr. Amber Mills.
What’s not to love about the holiday season- family, gift giving, food, STRESS?! As much as I love the holiday season, I’m always overwhelmed and stressed by the end of it all (does this sound like you?).
Each year I try my best to be organized and run ahead of schedule but all my planning never seems to pay off. This year I am resolved to go with the flow and worry less about getting everything done so that I can actually enjoy the holidays.
Here is a list of ways I am going to ward off stress:
1. Get a massage. Last year I gave massages as gifts but this year I’m going to treat myself to a massage so that my stress hormones can be lowered and I may possibly make it through the season without becoming too frazzled. Massage is not only great for lowering stress hormones but it also helps boost serotonin and dopamine (feel good hormones) and helps to promote sleep.
2. Exercise. I am determined to stick to my exercise schedule during all the holiday hustle. It is so easy to fill up your exercise time with other activities but exercise helps to boost serotonin levels and I will definitely need boosts so that I make it through the season. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, then commit to going on a walk outside (20-30 minutes) when you start feeling overwhelmed.
3. Sleep. I often find myself staying up way later than normal trying to cram in all my holiday wrapping, online shopping and baking but not this year. If I can go to bed close to on-time then perhaps I won’t wake up like a zombie and can be more productive during the day and if I’m more productive during the day then I will feel less stressed! We should be getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night, which most of us lack.
So, I think that if I can adhere to the stress busters above that I will be in good shape to have a stress-free, or nearly stress-free, holiday season. What things can you plan to do to keep yourself healthy and free from stress as the holidays approach?