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How to Deal with Holiday Stress
Posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:00:44 am by Jacklyn W.
It's that time a year again, the holiday season is in full swing. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is almost here. When I was a little kid, Christmas time was one of my favorite times of the year. What's not to love? There are presents, Mom's delicious cooking, family, time off from school, parties, and well, did I mention presents? As an adult, my idea of the holidays has changed dramatically. As much as I love the idea of this time of year, the stress that it brings seems to far outweigh the joy. Now, instead of being the present receiver, I am the gift giver, taking on the stress of finding the perfect present and dealing with the dreadful stores with the abundance of holiday shoppers. The joy of eating holiday food has slowly diminished, along with my metabolism. I am no longer in school, and grown up jobs don't give out Christmas breaks, just a couple days off here and there, which results in busy work days in between. Lastly, the numerous holiday parties that are crammed in the same weekend. Over the past few years, I have been slowly learning how to deal with the holidays as an adult. Although the transition hasn't been easy, I have found ways to keep in touch with my inner Cindy Lou Who when the Grinch in me wants to unleash. I wish I could tell you that there is a solution as magical and universal as Santa to soothing holiday stress but unfortunately there is no such thing. Here are a few of my go to tricks when that Grinch in me tries to make an appearance: Deep breaths. It sounds cliché, but it works! It's simple, easy, and readily available whenever you need a quick stress reliever. Place one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, and feel the diaphragm rise and then exhale out of the nose until you feel like you can no long push out any air, and repeat until you feel calm. Taking deep breathes is known to lower blood pressure. So next time your blood is boiling because some inconsiderate person cut you in the long line of holiday shoppers or took the parking spot you had been patiently waiting for in the packed mall parking lot, just use that extra time to breathe deeply and remember the reason for the season. Exercise. Why wait for New Years to roll around to start on your resolution? When you exercises your body releases endorphins into the brain causing you to not only feel better about yourself but about life in general. Plus it might just help you keep off those dreaded holiday pounds that always seem to creep on during this time of years. Take a walk. Even a short walk can dramatically increase ones mood. Walking can give you the same benefits as exercising. It gives you time to clear your head and the fresh air never hurt anyone. Also, the Christmas lights and decorations can be very scenic. Designate time for yourself. If you are like me, it seems as if your time is already stretched thin this time of year but I can promise you if you designate a time for yourself and actually take it, you will find a certain type of peace that only you can give yourself. Whether it be a massage, enjoying a good book, taking a much needed nap, or my personal favorite yoga, figure out a time each week when you can spend time doing something you enjoy. Your body and mind will thank you. Positive thoughts. Easier said than done, right? Next time those negative thoughts come to mind, think of a good childhood memory, the look on your children faces Christmas morning when you realize all the stress is worth it, or find comfort in knowing it'll all be over in a blink of an eye.