Thanksgiving was the first hurdle...sure it's spent seeing family members you may not have seen in a while, hopefully around a bunch of yummy food and in warm houses...but more often than not it can lead to reaching for that drink, or taking that little "worry pill" in order to get through the day. Well, let me give you a few tips on how to deal with the stress of the holiday season!
- Breathe! Take time out each day to do some deep breathing, using your diaphragm. This literally switches your nervous system from that "fight or flight" sympathetic dominance to a parasympathetic "rest and digest." Try it in the car, before eating, while listening to that winded family member or any other time. Just try to do it at least 10 times a day.
- Eat well - It's common to forget to eat when you're bustling around, but you won't be very productive if you forget breakfast. Breakfast sets you up for the entire day, so make sure you get plenty of protein to help you fuel your fire! Try a hard boiled egg and some oatmeal with nuts and fruit for a well-balanced, high protein, high fiber meal.
- Rescue Remedy - reach for this instead of that pill or drink. This flower essence has been used for many years and is great at general calming and reducing anxiety. Keep a bottle, spray or pack of pastilles handy at all times! Most drug stores and grocery stores with health food sections carry this nowadays. Also a great stocking stuffer!
- Keep your boundaries - 'tis the season for giving, but if your exhausted, you can't give much to anyone! So don't feel bad if you need to set some boundaries with friends or family if you're feeling overwhelmed. They don't want to stress you out either, so telling them the truth in a kind way will go better than you think. Also, never forget to ask for help!
- Sleep - sleep well and often. Now that the days are darker, our bodies naturally want to go to bed earlier. And each hour you get to bed before midnight is like getting 2 hours extra of sleep to the body. So try not to be sitting in front of a computer, tv or other bright lights too long after 9pm so your body can realize it's time to sleep soon. Check out my blog on sleep hygiene as well for other options.
- Have fun! While you're planning for kids, family and friends to have a great holiday, make sure it's fun for you too. Schedule some "me time" in the hustle and bustle of it all and maybe even consider a few days off for some ultimate relaxation after the holidays are over.
Hopefully these tips will allow you to enjoy your holiday more this year - we all could use a little more joy!
Bare Medicine wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season!