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Holiday Stress And What To Do About It, Part 3


So, the holidays are here, and you are already feeling stressed. There is a ton of stuff to do, no time to do it in and your anxiety levels are about to hit overload. Calm down, take a breath – help is at hand. Follow these tips on how to tackle holiday stress and you will emerge from the festivities unscathed.


First, you need to identify your areas of stress. What is it that is getting you all hot and bothered? Family issues? Anxiety over money? Anticipation of some event that you are dreading? Simply by sitting down with a pen and paper and writing out a list of your major stressors, you will be well on the way to dealing with those stressors so that you can relax and enjoy the holidays.


Other excellent ways to reduce holiday stress include:


  • Yoga

  • Exercise

  • Meditation


Yoga, with its emphasis on breathing and controlled postures, is well known as a stress reduction technique. The gentler forms such as Hatha yoga, which is widely available, are preferable for stress sufferers and it is advisable to seek out a good teacher to learn the technique rather than attempting to master it from a book or DVD. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are two other movement systems which are recommended as methods of stress reduction.


Starting or keeping up a regular exercise routine during the holidays is also an excellent idea. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the brain which help us to fight both stress and depression. It also helps us to focus away from our everyday concerns, such as the demands of the holidays, and towards to the task at hand. Even just going for a walk or jog will bring you all the stress-reducing benefits of exercise while also giving you some space and time for yourself – both essential when it comes to combating holiday stress!


Meditation is another wonderful stressbuster with the big benefit that it can be practiced almost anywhere. This means that you can even use it to relieve stress symptoms during a situation or event that is causing those symptoms such as a Christmas party. One way of doing this is to choose a calming mantra – a word, phrase or thought that you repeat silently over and over in your head until you feel your stress levels subsiding. Transcendental Meditation is based upon this principle and is a technique that has helped millions of people to manage stress.


Whichever method you choose to help you deal with your holiday stress, make sure that you back it up with adequate rest and a healthy diet. Try to avoid excess alcohol, caffeine, sodium, and sugar and focus instead on vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. Of course, the holidays are all about over-indulging but sticking to a generally healthy regimen will mean that you are better able to cope when your system becomes overloaded. The old saying about a healthy body equaling a healthy mind really is true so looking after yourself physically will also mean you reduce your chances of succumbing to holiday stress.

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