The holiday season is about celebrating the most wonderful time of the year, but lets face it, overcrowded shopping malls, weight gain, and the occasional awkward family reunion can be more stress inducing than magical. Here are some ways on how to cope with stress and make the most of the holidays.
Cut Down on Coffee and Smoking
Coffee and Nicotine are powerful stimulants that can cause high levels of anxiety. If you simply cannot make it through the day without your caffeine fix, limit your intake to one cup a day or opt for herbal tea instead - it contains half the caffeine but some major added benefits. Worse than consuming too much caffeine is smoking tobacco. Do not become dependent on smoking as a stress relief method as it is a cause for various diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer.
Meditation has numerous health benefits and is a great way to start or end your day. Here is a guide on how to meditate for beginners.
- Find a quiet place to sit or lie comfortably.
- Close your eyes.
- Begin by taking deep breaths - in through the nose, out through the mouth. Continue for 30 seconds or however long you wish.
- Focus on your breath; on how your chest, belly, and shoulders rise and fall with every inhale and exhale.
- Take a deep breath and exhale through the nose.
- Focus on the subtle movements of your body. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breathing.
- Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.
Take a short walk
Exercising is a great way to combat stress and will help you get in better shape. Try to give yourself a break during the day to take a 20-30 minute walk. This will help you wind down and reflect on your daily life.
The aromatic compounds from essential oils are known as relaxants and can help to soothe your mind and eliminate anxiety. The mixtures are very simple and the research on the practice of aromatherapy is very well-known and widely studied. Some of the best essential oils for stress relief are lemon oil, lavender, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils. Certain studies have also shown that lemon oil can improve mood and reduce outbursts of anger. Consider investing in a diffuser and some oils this holiday season!