As we all know, the holidays can be a stressful time as we feel pressure to shop for gifts, attend year-end parties, complete work projects and, of course, gather with family. In an article written by Jerisha Parker Gordon on healthline.com, found here, holiday stress can present itself in many ways, including anxiety, sadness, headaches, body aches, inability to sleep and irritability. Although we can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives over the holidays, there are steps we can take to minimize our stress levels and practice good self-care. We are not medical or psychiatry professionals at Red Leaf, we are human beings and we have developed some of our own holiday stress management hacks. Here are a few of our suggestions for dealing with holiday stress:
- Get Outside: Being in nature has an incredibly calming influence on our emotional state. Going for a 30 minute walk or jog outside can help relieve stress and give us time to objectively think about our surroundings. If you live in a cold-weather environment, check out these blogs we wrote in the past on the benefits of training in cold weather and four fun winter activities. Regardless of what you choose, try and get outside and take in the beauty of nature. It can be a salve for your soul.
- Journal: At times, it can be quite cathartic to get thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. Journaling does not have to be a time-consuming task, nor do you need to be a trained writer. Grab a notebook and pen and find a quiet place to just transfer your thoughts to paper. Sometimes, just this simple task helps you see where your stress comes from and how to deal with it.
- Practice Good Self-Care: The holidays can be so stress-filled with thinking about others that you forget about YOU. This might be a time to practice good self-care in order to charge your batteries and replenish your mind. Some ideas we have used in the past are:
- Schedule a 1- hour massage
- Get a manicure/pedicure for the holidays
- Take a morning to sit in your favorite coffee shop with your beverage of choice and create lists that help keep you organized throughout the holidays
- Turn off your electronic devices for some time period and read, meditate, pray or just be present in the silence. This can be so restorative!
- Say No: This is one of our favorite hacks! Every invitation does not deserve a yes, not every party must be attended and not everyone deserves a gift. It is ok to say no to things. In fact, saying no can be liberating. You can combine all of these by saying no to a party that you really don’t have to attend, go for a walk outside, turn off your phone when you get home, make a cup of tea and sit in your favorite chair and journal for 30 minutes. Saying no to one thing can be saying yes to something else.
- Laugh: At Red Leaf, we do not take ourselves too seriously. We love humor and find that laughter can be a great medicine. So, find a funny movie or comedy routine to watch and let yourself laugh out loud. Hang out with friends or family that make you laugh and enjoy your time with them. A good belly laugh is great medicine!
We make no bones about it—-holidays can be stressful. We hope you found our holiday stress management hacks helpful. We encourage everyone to look forward to the upcoming holidays and to find ways to help manage stress during these next few weeks. For additional holiday hacks, tips, and tricks, subscribe to Red Leaf Healthy During the Holidays 2021, where you will receive weekly healthy recipes, on-the-go workouts, and special VIP savings! Happy Holidays from your Red Leaf Team.