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Stress always seems to mount during the holiday season. While it should sound like fun to decorate your home, bake some holiday treats, or make plans to see family and friends, let's face it, these all add to the things we do every day, which makes everything that much more stressful. So, what can we do to make the holidays the most wonderful time of the year?
There are ways to ensure you don't fall into a holiday stress cycle that never seems to stop spinning. Here is our holiday gift to you:
Do you always feel like you have to do it all or it just won't get done? When that happens, here comes the stress! And that's not good for you or anyone around you. While it's not easy for you to hand out assignments, trust me, it will make a difference in your stress level. Give tasks to others that you know they can see to completion. For instance, if you send out holiday cards, give your kids the Christmas list and have them write the addresses on the envelopes. If you are planning to bake, have your teenager go to the store to buy ingredients, or give them a non-holiday task like taking the laundry to the washing machine and bringing clean clothes upstairs from the dryer. One less thing that you have to do is one less thing that you have to do! The stress-relieving benefits will begin right there.
Yes, we do this all day, every day. But deep breathing exercises have been proven to provide incredible stress relief. Try this with me right now: Take a long, slow, deep breath while counting to 4. Now, hold it for a count of 7. Slowly release your breath while counting to 8. Repeat the 4-7-8 breathing exercise three to eight times, and you will feel calmer.
I know there's no time, but really there is! Take a walk. That's all you have to do. A brisk walk out in the fresh air will melt stress in no time.
It's easy not to get enough sleep during the holidays, but that is a surefire way to increase stress and reduce health. Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of issues, including illness and depression. Researchers differ on the amount of sleep we need, but most agree that adults need at least 6-8 hours every night. It is important to keep your bedroom as device-free as possible. Checking social media "just once more" can easily cut into that necessary sleep time, so leave your smartphone on a charger in the hallway or kitchen, etc. Television in your bedroom is also a big no-no! This space should be your true comfort zone. It's not the place to watch Monday Night Football or one more episode of the show that you have been binge-watching. By the way, teenagers, children, and infants need more sleep time than adults, so ensure that any young ones in your home also get the proper amount of z's.
It is almost impossible to stay on a healthy diet during the holidays...or is it? You don't have to count calories or cut carbs out of your diet completely. There are many healthy choices in your supermarket, and the internet is filled with wonderful recipes which allow us to build a fabulously festive menu while limiting fat, sugar, and processed foods. So, while surfing for gifts, do a little merry meal research, and you will be well on your way to a healthy holiday!
Ah, love! What is life without it? But you don't need a significant other to find love. Family, friends, and pets are right there waiting for your stress-free hugs. Go ahead! I promise it will make you feel better too.
HPFY is bursting with the holiday spirit, and we have some amazing products to help you get through this season at your merriest. Here are some top-rated stress-relieving items that will have you well on your way to a joyous holiday (and they make great stocking stuffers too):
With three insertable gel packs that deliver hot or cold therapy, this neck support pillow is great for muscular inflammation and stress relief. Ergonomically designed memory foam provides head and neck support, while the washable soft velour cover adds comfort.
Tackles physical, mental, and emotional stress by balancing hormones and elevating mood. These little capsules of relief also have effective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to improve joint and tissue health.
The combination of lemon balm extract and L-theanine, an amino acid in green tea, create this innovative, dual-action supplement for stress.
Who hasn't felt the stress-relieving benefits of the stress ball? It's a great way to squeeze your stress away. It's washable and latex-free and has another advantage: it's also a hand exerciser that allows you to combat stress and reduce hand pain simultaneously.
Get right down to the bottom of stress with this book that helps check the obvious causes and find the subtler, underlying causes. You will learn how to relax, take time for the simple things and have fun! This workbook has plenty of space for your everyday thoughts and guides you through a twenty-eight-day course to alleviate stress.
The holidays can be very stressful, and the older we get, the more difficult they become. It is so easy to get consumed by everything that needs to be done. This season, make sure to take some time to stop and smell the cookies. Don't let stress control you. Be good to yourself, and enjoy this wonderful time of the year.
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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...
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