Now that you are looking great and ready for the holidays – how can you keep from stressing out?
Only one more week and you are officially through the holiday season! YAY! While we may be packing away our holiday décor, the stress may be sticking around and putting a damper on the beginning of the year. Here are some quick easy things from Health.com that you can do every day to feel better and start the year on the right foot.
Lift your mood with a hike in the sun
It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year. The fresh air and rhythm and repetition of walking can have a tranquilizing effect on your brain and decrease anxiety and improve sleep.
Take a whiff of citrus
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
The fleshy place between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure there for just 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body. So if you start to feel overwhelmed by the holiday chaos, give your hand a squeeze and take a deep breathe
Do less, enjoy more
“We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event,” says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. “Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more.”
Stick with your daily routine
Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don’t try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle, says Katherine Muller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry.
Turn up the tunes
Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it’s Jingle Bell Rock or the latest from Jay-Z. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.