It’s getting close to that time of year again! The holiday season is aboard a quick moving freight train, and it’s heading right for us! Some of us love this time of year more than anything, while others dread it. The rest of us are just sitting right there in the middle – we love it, but dang… it’s a lot of work! Why do we let, what’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of year” stress us out so much?
What’s Stressing You Out?
The first step towards fighting stress during the holidays is to identify exactly what is pressing your buttons. Does it start around Thanksgiving when you host a large feast for 20 people? Or, maybe you lost someone special to you around the holidays, and this time of year makes you feel sad or lonely? Or maybe it’s the expectation of gifts when you’re low on funds that makes you want to crawl under a rock and ride it out? Whatever it is, it’s not worth the stress, so don’t let it happen. Here are some ways to avoid it.
If trying to make time for each and every holiday party and get together stresses you out, JUST SAY NO! You aren’t obligated to attend every single event you are invited to; no one expects that! Pick one or two that actually want to go to, and leave it at that. Remember, these are PARTIES; they are meant to be fun!
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Finances are a major stress inducer throughout the year, but especially during the holidays when people feel obligated to spend, spend, spend. In fact, statistics show that 30 percent of Americans are constantly stressed out over money. If that’s the case, how are you expected to come up with extra cash to make it through the holiday season? Start with these tips that can help you avoid pulling out the credit card:
- Starting in January, take 10 dollars a month and set it aside, by Christmas you’ll have 120 dollars more than you would have.
- Starting in July, choose one daily “want,” such as a Starbucks coffee, to give up. Put the money you would have spent aside. If you usually spend 4 dollars a day on coffee, by December 25th you would have 708 dollars to spend on whatever you like!
The cooler weather many have you wanting to stay indoors, but medical experts agree that sun exposure is still a must. Research shows that decreased sun exposure can actual cause seasonal depression due to a drop in your brain’s serotonin levels. All you really need is 5 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight each day to help your brain keep making that serotonin. A quick walk around the block should do the trick, and some stress relieving fresh air won’t hurt either!
The holidays are supposed to be about spending time with friends and family, so put the phone away! If you’re constantly distracted by incoming text messages, your social status, or emails from work – you’re missing the point! Taking a time out from technology will not only bring your closer to the people you love, it will also reduce your stress. In a recent survey of 1,000 people done by Forbes magazine, 73 percent said they believe that their electronic devices cause stress in their lives.
The food you eat, can have a direct impact on how much stress you feel. During the holidays it’s easy to overindulge in all the delicious food that seems to surround us for about two months straight. Maintaining a healthy(ish) diet around the holidays can help keep your stress levels balanced. Taking daily supplements such as astaxanthin, Valerian root, and Vitamin B can help drastically too! Also, check out this list of stress reducing foods, and bring some to your next potluck or party:
- Dark Chocolate
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Any parent will tell you, if you get a child out of his regular routine, you’re asking for trouble. Same goes for us adults! Humans crave routine and order and the holidays are terrible for ruining that. Our sleep suffers, we don’t exercise like we should, the kids are out of school, and stress levels go through the roof. To avoid completely going off the rails, plan ahead and try to incorporate some holiday fun into your “you” time. Here are some examples:
- Sign friends and family up for a Thanksgiving or Christmas 5K.
- Suggest/plan brunches instead of late evening dinners.
- Plan at least one daily activity for the kids so you can get them out of the house and get your what you need, done. Example: the babysitter takes them to a movie or the park. This plans also works for in-laws! LOL!
So what are your own personal life hacks for surviving the stressful holidays? Tell us in the comments below!
Article by: Natural Healthy Concepts is vitamin and supplement website with a blog that features articles by a certified nutritionist on the most important topics in the natural health industry, such as astaxanthin.