T’is the season to have stress relief remedies on hand. This time of year can bring as much anxiety as joy, so strategies for dealing with stress are essential for getting the most out of your holiday.
We’re sharing some mindful tips and remedies so you can shift back to the present moment when you’re feeling pressure from this season.
By having remedies and solutions on hand, you can ensure you have a peaceful holiday.
Take personal time when needed.
It’s okay to say “no” and take time for yourself during the holidays. As frantic and rushed as they can sometimes be, taking time to slow down and re-group not only supports your mental health, but also the way you show up for your loved ones.
If you’re feeling like you need some space, carve out a window of time where you can wind down and source yourself, even if only for a minute!
Here are some practices for quick stress relief:
- Drink a cup of tea
- Herbal tea can soothe and support your body by improving sleep, lowering cortisol, settling stomach aches, and uplifting your overall mood. Try peppermint to reduce frustration and fatigue. Wood betony which improves circulation and calms the nervous system. Or holy basil for stomach pain after too much bread pudding.
- Take a soothing bath
- To instantly relieve stress and muscle tension, take an epsom salt bath. Healthy magnesium levels in epsom salt can boost brain neurotransmitters that are responsible for inducing sleep and reducing stress. If you’re having trouble sleeping, plan your bath at night.
- One minute meditation
- One minute is enough time to get back to the present moment. And you can do this anywhere! Whether you're in line at the grocery store or in between cocktail conversations, just bring your awareness to your breath. Take mental notice of your inhale and exhale and bring your full attention to the sensation. Do this with the intention of coming back to your center.
Take care of yourself physically.
It's normal to indulge during the holidays. The key is to check in with your body and mind every so often to notice how you're feeling. How is your energy? Does your mind feel foggy? What is your body really craving? Asking yourself these questions will help you take care of you.
- Incorporate healthy foods into your meals.
- If you’re feeling ungrounded, try some root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes. If you’re feeling low energy, get a boost of natural sugar from fruit like grapes or an apple.
- Get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water.
- According to the CDC, adults over the age of 18 should be getting 7 or more hours of sleep per night.
- Set time aside for a morning walk, gentle yoga class or some form of physical activity.
- As a general rule, aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day.
- Incorporate mindfulness practices like breath-work and meditation.
Have a heart to heart.
This time of year is about the quality of connection. Studies show being with people you feel close to makes you feel happy and safe. You can facilitate more meaningful, deep conversations by connecting with each person individually. Or schedule one-on-one visits with a loved one either in person or virtually. Remember if you’re feeling overstimulated by group dynamics, you’re not alone. Give yourself permission to find connection in ways that feel nourishing to you. This time to connect can be significant instead of stressful.
Sing a song.
There are many benefits to singing, and it doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune or not! This time of year is the perfect opportunity to inspire others to join along with a popular holiday song. Research shows that singing releases feel-good endorphins like oxytocin, and has the power to bring people together. We can reduce the feeling of loneliness by harmonizing our voices, which in turn, creates harmony for ourselves. So turn up your favorite holiday song and sing from your heart!
Get some fresh air.
Take a break and enjoy the outdoors when you’re feeling brain fatigue. Colder temperatures help you focus and think more clearly. You can take this opportunity for solo time or invite along family and friends. Fresh air cleans out your lungs and replenishes your body; and if the sun is out, you get an added boost of vitamin-D. There are also fun winter activities like ice skating or sledding to ensure you get that outdoor time in.
Give back however you can.
Giving back during the holiday season is a beautiful gift, not only for the person receiving, but for yourself too. Performing a good deed feels good. One act of kindness can have a big impact, especially for someone struggling during this time of year. You can run a race for a good cause, make a meal for a neighbor who has had a rough year, or buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
Smile and laugh as much as possible!
Laughter really is the best medicine. Smiling releases all kinds of feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Studies have shown that a smile can help reduce our heart rate and recover faster from stress. And not to mention, smiling and laughter is contagious! We can create a ripple effect of feel-good for those around us, both strangers and loved ones alike.
Remember, you know yourself best. Take inventory of when you feel triggered during the holidays. Is it abandoning your healthy habits? Not taking personal time for yourself? Feeling anxious in social settings? Once you have a better understanding of your patterns, you can address them with some planning and open conversations.
We’d love to hear what stress relief remedy works best for you.
Sanctuary wishes you a happy, stress-free holiday season!