Don't Stress the Holidays!

It's that time of year again, the traffic, the long lines, the rush and the stress! Here are a few ways to stay calm and relaxed this holiday!

We can start by knowing that what makes the holidays so special is the time spent with loved ones, we tend to give into the pressure unknowingly, to go over the top with gifts, food and decor but the core of any memorable holiday is the time, words and feelings we share with the ones we love! Once we remind ourselves of the key to the best holiday ever, we can already begin to not stress about it!

But in case the hustle and bustle has us feeling overwhelmed here are a few simple tips we can apply to our everyday routine to minimize our stress levels and keep the calm vibes high!

Forget perfection

Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. "Focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life," says Donna Schempp, the program director for the Family Caregiver Alliance. Don't sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!

Consider abandoning old customs

Abandoning old customs can be a good strategy if you're lonely or grieving, experiment with a different culture's customs, or invite isolated colleagues over and start some new traditions.

Go tech-free

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.

Savor a spicy meal

Hot foods trigger the release of endorphins—the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being, 

Dip into some honey

You'll get an instant kick and energy for the long haul. Plus, research shows that its antioxidant and antibacterial properties may improve your immunity. Here's a tip: The darker the honey, the more powerful the antioxidant punch.

Eat breakfast before you tank up on coffee

Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can cause attention problems and irritability.

Turn up the tunes

Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it's Jingle Bell Rock or the latest from Jay-Z. 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.

Fit in exercise

It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.

Don't overschedule

If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don't over schedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Remember: It's OK to slow down a bit.

Think positive

The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don't focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger the your body's stress response, just as a real threat does. Remember, it's time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.
Stick with your daily routine
Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle.

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