It is wonderful to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. It can also be a mad rush to get everything completed before the festivities. Here are a few ways to fight the stress.
Walking Outside in the Sunlight
A brisk walk stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year. To ease SAD symptoms, spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days, or ask your doc about phototherapy (a treatment using a box that emits full-spectrum light) or purchase a full spectrum light available at Amazon. The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep.
Take a whiff of Citrus or Mint
Researchers studying depression have found that certain fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
Deep yoga breathing releases stress. Breath in a full breath expanding your diaphragm for 10 seconds. Breath out for 10 seconds deflating your diaphragm completely. Repeat this 10 times. This is also a great way to relax when trying to sleep.
Many people have a cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can cause attention problems and irritability. Eating breakfast increases your metabolism and gives you a good start for the day. Avoiding caffeine and having a hot cup of decaf tea will help you sleep at night.
Get a Massage
In one study, participants who gave massages had fewer medical woes and less stress than those who received rubdowns. Contact the Massage Therapists at Cheshire to help you get through the holidays.
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.
Think Positive Thoughts
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. Find time to be quiet and meditate on the good things in your life!
Blog & Photo by: Gina MacFarland with Pro Motion Online