Stress. It seems to be a word we toss around quite a lot these days. It has been used as an excuse for having a bad day or for being grumpy. However, stress can have some serious affects on your emotional and physical well-being. And that isn’t a good thing.
The holiday season, while joyful, can also be a time of elevated tension. If you find your stress levels rising during the holidays, or at any time, here are a few natural remedies to help banish the stress and bring back the joy.
Buy a coloring book and coloring pencils. While this seems to be a current craze, coloring can be a meditative and stress-relieving practice. Mandalas, and their repetitive patterns, are thought to be especially calming. And it doesn’t require a trip to a toy store – you’ll find a wide selection of adult coloring books these days in your local book store.
Embrace the mess. It is easy to stress about getting everything just right during the holidays. A perfectly decorated house, beautifully wrapped packages, and plates filled with Christmas goodies. All these activities can leave things, well, in a mess. Instead of worrying about the cleanup, try to be fully present and enjoy the activity. A little clutter is okay.
Give someone a hug. Not only will they feel better, you will too. Studies have shown that hugging helps stimulate your brain’s release of the hormone oxytocin, which can help lower blood pressure and calm nerves.
Don’t try to do everything. Sit down and decide what is most meaningful and let the other things go. The holiday shouldn’t be an extension of your workday, with tasks to be completed and checked off a list. This is a time to spend with your family and friends.
Volunteer. One way to relieve stress is to perform a selfless act for others. What could be greater than giving your time for a worthy cause? It is almost a guarantee that you’ll feel better.
Head outdoors and go for a walk. If you have a dog, take them along. Fresh air and the unconditional love of an animal go a long ways towards reducing stress.
Watch a funny movie. Laughter really is the best medicine, thanks to its release of stress hormones like dopac and cortisol. A few loud guffaws and you’ll find your stress melting away.
Calm your nerves with aromatherapy and soothing sounds. Buy an aromatherapy oil diffuser and fill it with calming essential oils – like lavender, chamomile, or rosemary. Let the scents waft through your house while you listen to your favorite holiday music and sip on a soothing cup of tea.
Connect with long distance friends and family. It is hard to be far away from loved ones during the holidays. Create a “date” with them, set aside some time, brew yourself a cup of tea, and cozy up for a nice chat. To avoid worrying about the cost of an international call, use a Wi-Fi Calling app so that your calls are free (app to app) or as little as 2¢ per minute.
Schedule a massage or sauna. Or both. There is nothing more luxurious than getting a massage. Find one that offers heated tables for even more indulgence. If you can find one in your area, pamper yourself with a near infrared sauna. The unique combination of light and heat can promote healing and rejuvenation, and can be more calming than a steam sauna. Our VP of Marketing recently tried one and she slept like a baby and woke up feeling 20 years younger!