Stress is a fact of life for most Charlotte residents. While levels of stress vary, the causes of stress are plentiful. Work, traffic, kids, traffic, money, traffic, personal relationships, and more. The most wonderful time of the year happens to also come with additional stress for some.
Holiday stress is no joke, as our normal schedules are altered to fit in holiday parties, visits with family, volunteering for our favorite charities, shopping for gifts, school events, and more! Not to mention the financial stress that can occur in an effort to purchase said gifts or travel to visit out-of-town families.
It is important for your health to combat the stress you may feel from the holidays with active stress management. WebMD notes that stress can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, elevated blood pressure, upset stomach, and even chest pain. Check out these ideas for helping you manage your stress during the busy holiday season:
Time to Yourself
Schedule some time for yourself to unwind. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, take a bath. Spend some time alone to re-center yourself and get a break from the chaos of the season.
Spend time outdoors or near a bright window daily. Sunlight is an important factor in relieving the effects of the cold, cloudy winter weather.
Increase serotonin production and let off some steam with regular exercise. The holidays are a time of year it can be easy to set fitness aside. It is important to make exercise a priority. We recommend trying an exercise with additional stress-reducing qualities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and Martial Arts.
Limit Comfort Food
Don’t over-indulge in comfort foods. Throwing your balanced diet out of whack with a large intake of caffeine, sugar, or alcohol can exacerbate the negative effects of stress on the body. Everything in moderation.
Hoku – Pressure Point Relief
The fleshy area between your thumb and pointer finger, known as the “Hoku point” or “hand valley point” is a pressure point for stress relief in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Squeeze it for 30 seconds and take a deep breath to calm yourself during stressful moments.
Focus on the people in your life rather than worrying about maintaining a perfectly tidy home, doing it all, or cooking every single thing from scratch. This is the season for enjoying each other, let go of the small stuff, and you can better enjoy the holidays.
Say no to some events. You are not obligated to be at every party. Keep your focus on the events and people closest to your heart to ensure you maintain balance in your life.
Be generous with compliments, service, and gratitude towards family, friends, and coworkers to boost your mood and lower your stress during the holidays. This can also apply on a broader level in volunteering time to charity.
Walk it off
The rhythm of a walk can be calming for your brain. Take a walk to decrease anxiety and improve sleep. (A two-for, as better sleep, also improves stress management too!)
If you’d like to add stress-relieving exercise to your routine during this holiday season, start today with a free introductory tour and semi-private lesson. 704-505-8866