The holidays are known for spending time with family, friends all while enjoying holiday cheer. The air is crisper, and the attitude in the community shines brighter. Many of us look forward to the year coming to an end and another one beginning. I, for one, however don’t look forward to all of the stress that comes along with the countless number of to-dos. Attending events, decorating the house, and of course, that time spent with family, can all come with their own set of issues.
Holiday stress feels different than everyday stress; it can consume thoughts, challenge priorities, and cause fatigue or stress eating. If holiday stress becomes overwhelming, it can distract you from what the holidays actually represent. Sometimes I find myself getting so caught up in making sure everyone is given the perfect gift, or I meet all my deadlines before the holidays hit. It’s not fun! Everyone deserves to enjoy the end of the year and the festivities that come with it. Here are some ideas I recommend to help you align body, mind, and spirit, helping to reduce all types of holiday stress.
Dealing with External Stress:
During the holidays do you feel like you have to be cheery and bright all the time? I feel like there’s so much pressure to smile big, be grateful, and don my most heinous of sweaters for the entire month between Thanksgiving and New Years. It can be challenging to get in the holiday mood when you have three parties to plan, in-laws coming to town, and too many dinners to attend during a few short weeks! One way to fight this type of holiday stress is to meditate and stay active. These mind-body exercises can help free yourself from holiday stress and help cope with negative emotions. By setting aside at least 30 minutes at the beginning of the day you can lower your heart rate and blood pressure while bringing you back to a calm state. From my experience, these exercises can allow you to clearly organize your thoughts, too! After a short Bodypeace session or some time spent in meditation, if you still feel holiday stress, remove yourself from the chaos and sneak away for a bit. Going for a walk or taking a quick power nap can help relieve anxiety. Or pack some cardio in by heading to the gym to release endorphins, which is proven to enhance your overall mood in a positive way. Certain external influences and lack of control can add extra frustration to your emotional state, but remember there are solutions available. You have control over how you deal with holiday stress and how you let it affect your mood.
Dealing with Internal Stress:
Another type of holiday stress is missing a loved one during the holidays. This can be internalized and sometimes repressed, which causes stress. Many people choose to deal with loss by excessively drinking or eating, or sleeping too much. I know I’ve been guilty of this before! Talk to friends and family about any feelings you have been avoiding, so you can breathe fresh air into these issues. If you are feeling a sense of loss, the first thing you can do is simply acknowledge it since repressing it can make it harder in the long run. If you’re able to reach out to the person or people you’re missing, you might feel better have a phone call or FaceTime session. My mom is always (ok, usually) happy to answer my call and I always feel better talking to her even though I can’t be with her during the holiday time. Spend time with loved ones and cherish the memories you share. If you aren’t able to spend time with family or friends, avoid holiday stress by doing something that you love to do. Volunteering in the name of a loved one is another great way I’ve found to keep your mind off of the stress. Search for animal shelters, soup kitchens, and other organizations near you that could use an extra hand around the holidays.
Alternatively, this can be a good time of the year to get some “you-time” in! There’s nothing stopping you from ice skating or seeing a movie by yourself. If you are stressed from work and don’t have anyone to talk to, find a way to reach a place of neutrality with job-related problems and make a goal to deal with them in a healthy way when you return to work. I know I say it all the time, but consider integrating an exercise routine into your schedule. Releasing endorphins can help your mood no matter what the case is. That’s why I created so many short sessions on the app; they’re a great pick me up that don’t require a giant time commitment!
Whether your anxiety is triggered by an outside source or it has been internalized, consider adopting a new fitness regimen that includes stretching, body alignment, meditation, and exercise to help reduce holidays stress. This year, make time to enjoy the holiday months in a healthy way. Spend time making beautiful memories with those you care about and take the necessary steps to reduce anxiety and be able to avoid the results of holiday stress. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you!
The DeLacy Discipline
When it comes to yoga, meditation, and regular health routines, joining forces with Lizzie DeLacy, offers a customized approach to health happiness. Trained in ballet, yoga, and physical fitness, DeLacy is an expert on strengthening from the inside, out. Don’t let holiday stress ruin precious moments. Instead, find a way to calm your anxiety and strengthen your inner core.