The month of December is filled with so much fun. There's a lot to celebrate and it can almost seem endless. From Hanukkah, Kwanzaa to Christmas to the New year's Eve, December is "a world of holidays".
Journeying through this holiday season social gatherings and parties with friends and family, holiday dinners, family obligations... it's hectic! The holiday season comes with heightened emotions, sometimes an imbalance- a feeling of excitement today, stress next, anxiety tomorrow.
This feeling of stress is somewhat personal, as the cause varies with individuals. What makes one person feel worried and sad, might not even affect another. For some, it is difficult to cope with the demands that come with the season.
What we may not realize is the weather is another factor. December is a winter holiday and the weather condition creates an imbalance in our emotions. Also, with the list of endless events and outings, there is the problem of overeating and excessive drinking and in the end, we don't seem to get enough sleep... Oh, the holidays! Sooner than we can imagine, all of these things effect us. Our high expectations of the season and nicely drafted plans seeking to meet fulfillment, can leave us cranky.
Now that we're caught in the web of another December, the question is, "How do I walk through this?"
While studies reveal that some stress can be good, as it is an inspiration for you to make changes in your life as well as light up the urge to get something done - the truth is, getting stressed too often and remaining that way for too long, has a far more complicated effect on your health. Stress triggers a lot of physiological responses (weight gain, elevated blood sugar, adrenal fatigue).
Now that we're caught in the web of another December, the question is, "How do I walk through this?" There are numerous tips that help manage and reduce the stress that comes with holidays. It's December so I'll gift you twelve healthy tips to beat the stress.
12 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress
- Boost your mood with the sunlight: Sunlight is a great stimulant for the production of serotonin which helps to maintain a sense of well-being and relieves seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Simply spend time outdoors on sunny days. You could sit by the window too and watch the soothing effect of the sunlight on your body.
- Take a walk: When we walk, there's this calming and sedating effect it has on the brain. This way, anxiety is reduced and sleep is improved. It might not be a long distance, but take a stroll. You leave worries behind.
- Say 'No' sometimes: Sometimes in pleasing others, we get overworked. You want to shop, cook and still attend that event you've been invited to. Hello... you have to take care of yourself as well, by saying 'No' when needed.
- Squeeze it: There's this fleshy part between the index finger and the thumb. Fascinating? Thanks to traditional Chinese medicine. When you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and give your hand a squeeze. Stress is reduced.
- Leave out perfection: Don't get obsessed by wanting to do everything. The house is a bit messy. Dinner is served late. The kids are not content. Take it slowly and take a deep breath.
- Breakfast before coffee: Caffeine is one of those foods that is not good for stress. Worse still, taking caffeine on an empty stomach increases blood sugar level. Opt for breakfast instead before getting in that cup of coffee or swap out your coffee for a green juice or wheatgrass shot for an energy boost without the caffeine.
- Body massage: A great stress relief for couples. Gift your partner a massage this holiday. You'll be surprised how much it helps to take an hour to relax and unwind.
- Create a budget: Always create a reasonable budget and be true to it. With some planning and creativity you can host a great holiday party and get everyone on your list the perfect gift in your budget.
- Music is ideal: In anxiety, tune to your favorite music. That way you relax your blood vessels. Music is good medicine for the heart. It improves blood flow.
- Exercise: Around the holidays exercise may be the last thing on our minds. But exercise is great to reduce stress and release endorphins helping you feel better. No time to get in a class or hit the gym - take a short walk or jog!
- Eat right: The holidays are full of gatherings with indulgent food - too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol and dairy can have an effect on your body. Try to eat a healthy dinner before attending gatherings. This will reduce your likelihood on snacking. Remember to incorporate beverages like tea and salmon, carrot and lots of green veggies.
- Carrots: They have a satisfying crunch and are low in calories.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a mood improvers. When you eat dark chocolate, it releases serotonin which helps to lower stress hormones. Enjoy a square of dark chocolate to relax.
- Tea: Choose a variety that has no caffeine - chamomile is great at relaxing and calming the body.
- Cold Pressed Juice: A quick and easy way to get in good nutrition from loads of fruit and vegetables.
- Salmon: Salmon is a fatty fish. It contains omega-3 fats which is healthy for the heart. Fatty fishes like salmon, sardine and tuna manage adrenaline levels.
- Avocado and Banana: Both are filled with potassium and as such, they help to keep blood pressure low.
- Water: Water is essential for good health. It helps fight fatigue and headaches. It is helpful in the process of weight loss and it improves mood. Start with 2 glasses first thing in the morning. Take 2 glasses few minutes before meals. If you get bored with drinking water, try adding fruit; Lemon, lime, orange are great additions. Our pick up a bottle of our Intense Yellow cold pressed juice a natural hydrator and detoxifier.
Now that you are armed with ways to reduce your holiday stress we hope that you will be able to stress less and enjoy more. If you feel that you over indulged throughout the holidays starting your new year off with a Juice Cleanse is a great way to get back on track.