Stress: Tips for Managing Holiday Havoc

Stress Christmas Holiday Season

Stress is inherent during the holiday season and often leads to havoc. It can be a chaotic time for anybody, especially in modern-day society, with all the issues and concerns Americans are facing in this unpredictable economy. More people are impacted by holiday havoc and stress than ever before, which in turn takes a toll on the daily lives and health of affected individuals. As a result, holiday havoc can lead to a myriad of health concerns, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, heart disease, anxiety, depression, as well as a variety of other issues. Here are some tips for managing holiday havoc and reducing stress levels during the yuletide season.

One of the best tips for managing holiday havoc and reducing tension during the anxiety-filled season involves exercise. Whether it is yoga, Tai Chi, or running, exercise allows a person time to be alone with their thoughts (or an opportunity to let them go). Moreover, exercise also has the added benefit of releasing endorphins into the brain, which improves an individual’s mood and mental outlook. Furthermore, it also prevents obesity and other health problems, which in turn reduces an individual’s reasons to be stressed.

Another easy and enjoyable tip for managing holiday havoc and reducing stress involves massage. It is a given that most people would love a massage. It is also interesting to note that massage has been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years. Historically, the Chinese used massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve overall general health. Moreover, Hippocrates, who is the father of Western medicine and namesake of the physician’s Hippocratic Oath, used friction for physical healing treatments. In modern-day society, massage is used in myofascial release (relieve tense muscles), to improve circulation, and as a pain reliever, all of which can be very beneficial for the mind as well as body.

A third tip to conquer stress and overcome holiday havoc could include the use of meditation (mindfulness), which can be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes a day. This anxiety fighter could be employed by those individuals even with the most packed schedules. Not to mention, it is also an incredibly affordable de-stressing method, as the only tool required is one’s own mind. All an individual needs is a quiet space and some silent time to let their thoughts run free. It is also beneficial to focus on one’s breathing while in their head space. That small amount of serenity in a person’s day can help them manage and even reduce their stress levels significantly.

Another relative no-brainer tip for managing holiday havoc and relieving anxiety involves proper nutrition. Healthy food choices, such as whole grains and protein, can actually improve a person’s mood and provide long-lasting energy to tackle everything that is encountered during the day. Foods that are especially effective for reducing angst include blueberries, salmon, and almonds, according to experts.

An additional tip that could help combat holiday havoc is to reduce caffeine intake. While some studies have shown that small amounts of coffee during the day can offer health benefits, too much caffeine could make an individual jittery and anxious, which will eventually led to a crash.

One of the most important natural stress reducer and best ways to manage holiday havoc is sleep. Too little sleep leaves people cranky and irritable, as well as mentally and physically taxed. Whereas too much sleep can leave people sluggish and even depressed. It is important to find the right balance that allows an individual to feel well-rested and prepared for the day. It is also good practice to promote better sleep by establishing bedtime habits that signal the brain it is time to fall asleep. These rituals could include avoiding exercise before bed, listening to music, meditation, or enjoying a shower prior to bedtime. Moreover, certain foods can also promote better sleep, such as peanuts, figs, bananas, carbohydrates, dairy, as well as a holiday favorite–turkey. These foods all contain tryptophan, which is used by the body to create a natural sleep aid, melatonin. However, it is also important to avoid having a large meal close to bedtime because it may result in indigestion, heartburn, reflux, or even weight gain.

While stress is inherent during the holiday season and it can be a chaotic time for anybody, there are a number of tips for managing holiday havoc and reducing anxiety levels during the yuletide season. Staying organized also offers a sense of control, peace of mind, and helps reduce stress encountered during the holidays. There are many ways a person can improve in this regard. For instance, if an individual is a multi-tasker who is always on-the-go, it can help to make lists to keep things organized. Whereas if an individual is someone who feels edgy in their own house, it could be very beneficial to tidy up. The holiday season can be very stressful and chaotic, but it does not have to be that way or negatively affect people if they make a few adjustments and develop a more stress-free approach to the season, as well as life in general.

By Leigh Haugh

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GLV–Leigh Haugh

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