The Holidays, while joyous, can also be an extremely stressful time for many of us.
The extra money spent. The festivities and errands added to our already busy schedules. Time spent with family that perhaps you don’t get along with. Travel delays. The heavy food and drink that you’re not used to eating so much of. All of this merry mayhem can take it’s toll on our mental health.
Cheer and merriment can once again be yours though, as I created this list of 15 ways to stay chill this Holiday season.
Sniff some citrus. Studies show that smelling some lemons or oranges can help reduce stress, make you more alert, and help you focus.
Get outside for a walk, breathing in some fresh air.
Prioritize good quality sleep. And expect that your body may need some extra z’s due to the lack of daylight, the extra food and booze, the lack of exercise, travel, etc.
Squeeze the fleshy part between your thumb and index finger for 30 seconds. Known in Chinese medicine as the “Hoku” spot, it helps to reduce the stress and tension being held in your upper body.
Just say NO, to all the social engagements that drain you instead of energize you. The parties, the cookie exchanges, the lady lunches. All of it.
Remember that less is more. Especially when it comes to overindulging on those Holiday treats that you don’t even really like. Be a food snob. Indulge in only those things that you truly enjoy, guilt and stress free.
Fuck trying to create the “perfect” Holiday. The table decor, the tree, the wrapped gifts. Instead be grateful for those people you’re spending time with over the holidays. No one cares how “perfectly” decorated your house is.
Add some spice (heat) to your food as it helps to release those feel good hormones.
Watch the caffeine and alcohol intake. Both of which can make you more keyed up or depressed.
Keep up with the daily movement, whatever that looks like for your body. Strength training, walking, yoga, indoor cycling…just do it.
Practice gratitude everyday. Be so thankful for all that you and your family have during the next couple of weeks.
Limit your spending on gifts. Opt for giving people experiences instead, or even better, give them something homemade! Nobody needs more shit.
Remember to keep breathing. During those long lines, when you’re flight is delayed, when you’re sitting in traffic, when that (ignorant) relative starts talking about politics! Just breathe.
Schedule a massage. Release the tension.
Reach out for professional help if you feel sad, depressed, alone, unable to cope. No shame in this, ever.