Do you feel more stressed at the holidays? Or do you find more time to relax?
If getting through the end of the year fills you with cortisol, you need some easy and fast strategies to help out.
1. Put it on your calendar: that is, schedule your breaks. Want to get 5 minutes of meditation or breathing? Want to make sure you take a walk outside? Put it on your calendar and set a reminder to make it happen. Remember that if you feel stressed when the reminder goes off, you will feel much better after your short break. Resist the pattern thinking that keeps you from doing what you need.
2. Stay fueled. Stress makes us use up fuel faster so you’ll need to replenish with grab-and-go snacks like a glass of OJ or milk, an apple or other fruit, string cheese, or -if all else fails- gummy bears (gelatin of course)! The best snacks are fast burning carbs balanced with a little protein. Oxygen is also fuel! Are you taking full breaths and loooong exhalations? The way your breath fuels your brain is intimately connected to whether adrenaline is increased or reduced.
3. Avoid overeating. If you’re the kind of person that feels guilty after indulging in holiday food, have one of the snacks above, 30 minutes before your event. Fueling up before a party not only helps you digest the meal better, but it will make you feel like you don’t need to eat as much. Here’s another trick: studies have shown that people who eat off a smaller plate automatically eat less. Just take a salad plate if you need more parameters when walking through the buffet!
4. Have a movement ritual. Begin the day with greeting the sun (even if it is hiding in the clouds!) and end the day with a warm magnesium bath. Gratitude, nature, and warm water are three proven stress reducers. Add your favorite-feeling joint mobilizations to get even more relief. Even some wrist circles or finger waves can energize you in no time.
5. No guilt zone. Don’t feel guilty about feeling guilty either! You’re human and you’re doing just fine. Keep going and enjoy a beautiful holiday season!