The holidays are a notoriously stressful time of year for many people. We are bombarded by lots of family visits, higher than normal expenses, and last minute, end-of-the-year deadlines, not to mention the endless temptations to eat lots of sweets and avoid exercising in the cold! At Elements Massage, we know it’s hard to keep up with your wellness program and avoid stress during the holidays, so we asked our therapists to share their best ideas for keeping stress levels low. Check out what they have to say below:
This is not a ploy to get you to start your New Year’s resolution early, but rather sound advice backed by science. Exercising increases your energy, improves your mood and can even sharpen focus. Steer clear from a routine that will not become a habit, and try standing up and taking walking meetings to get your daily exercise. How often you ask? Well, aim for 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week, but honestly, something is better than nothing.
It’s finally time to make sleep a priority, and we know, much easier said than done. But, think about it this way - when you get enough sleep you are less likely to overeat, you are more able to handle stress, and your focus will stay sharp throughout the day. It’s important to turn off your electronics at least an hour before bed as the light from the screens can disrupt your sleep cycle. If you have to nap during the day, aim for 15-20 minutes or you will wake up feeling groggier than before.
It’s the best time of year for delicious, home cooked food. Unfortunately, most holiday treats and traditional foods are heavy on the butter and sugar, and light on “healthy”. Try to add extra servings of these options during meals or while snacking:
- Omega-3s which are mood stabilizers – consider: fish and lean proteins
- Adequate amounts of fiber from fruits and veggies – so important!
- Antioxidant rich foods – kale, dark chocolate, and blueberries
Lean on Friends and Family
Building strong relationships inspires feelings of belonging and support. So, spend time you’re your closest friends and be patient with your family. It’s all about being grateful when you’re surrounded by a close-knit community. So, put down your smartphone and enjoy some rest and relaxation with your closest friends.
From all of us at Elements Massage, have a stress free and fabulous holiday season!