5 Ways To Bust Stress From The Holidays
We all know how busy this time of year can get and often times (especially as parents of young kiddos, holiday parties, activities, shopping, wrapping and more) we not only get stressed, but by the end of it all, we are downright burnt out. We end up starting the new year exhausted which is well, not fun! So, we can’t take the busyness away – nor would we want as it is apart of what makes the holidays so special – but we can share with you some tips and tools to help you manage the busyness a bit better so that when the holidays have passed, we can start the new year feeling more grounded, balanced and strong.
We're sharing 5 super easy to implement tips that can help keep you sane (and dare we say even happy) over the next few days.
Make Room For Self-Care
One way that we can help maintain balance and be more relaxed during the holidays is to practice Self-Care. Self-care is essentially any action or behaviour that you love to do that benefits you by reducing your stress levels and improving your mental, physical and spiritual health.
For each and every person this is going to look differently (something we like to refer to as bio-individuality!). For some of you, it could be having a warm aromatherapy bath complete with candles and your fave playlist or taking 20 minutes to chill-out while listening to a guided meditation, while for others it may be heading to the closest mountain for a hike, taking a trip to the spa for a mani/pedi or just simply reading a good book (by yourself).
Don't Forget To Breathe!
Breathing is something that we all do, all day long. But, few of us actually breathe correctly. And, unfortunately, incorrect breathing patterns can cause a host of different problems for us from increasing our stress and anxiety to causing us to have headaches to causing us to feel exhausted and burnt out. The benefits of proper breathing are many – a simple 3 minute breathing technique can help us calm down, feel grounded, feel energized, help our bodies heal, help relieve neck tension and headaches and help our sleep. Check out our article on the 4 breathing techniques that can help you chill out.
Do a Guided Meditation or Visualization
We love to meditate. The benefits are endless. But, for many – the idea the idea of sitting quietly and practicing your breath for 10-15 minutes (or longer) can be daunting. So if this is you - a great option is to try a guided visualization. This is where you sit quietly and listen to someone’s voice guide you through a breathing practice, mindfulness technique, or meditation. These can be a perfect introduction to breathing as all you need is a quiet, comfortable place to sit and your phone or iPad. There are plenty of apps out there today where you can find countless of these. And there is a guided visualization for everything – there are ones for helping with stress, anxiety, sleep, negative patterns, balance and well-being. I have all of these apps and I have my favourite go-to’s so if I’m have a particularly busy week and I can’t get in time to sit and do a meditation myself, then I often use these. Our favourite apps are Omvana, Calm, Buddhify, and Headspace.
Move Your Body!
With the chaos of the season, sometimes exercise and activity are the first to hit the back burner (and then by January we are stuck in the habit of cozying up and watching Netflix rather than hitting the gym). And THAT’S OK! When crazy schedules come, we need let go a bit of maintaining our perfect gym and yoga schedule and give ourselves permission to do a bit less. We do know also though, that doing a little bit of our favourite activity will not only help us maintain our energy levels for all of those late nights but will help with our stress levels also. So here are a few tips of things we can do over the holidays to keep up some activity and make it fun, without causing burn out.
Yoga, Dance, Jumping jacks, kickboxing - whatever it is that you love to do – do it! Even if it is only for 5-10 minutes, you are reaping the benefits. So, when you get home from work or the kids get home from school instead of turning on a Holiday show, throw on your favourite album and have a little dance party or do some jumping jacks – anything to have some fun and expend some energy too.
Alternatively, if you are feeling super stressed and your body is telling you that it needs something to help calm you down – you can try some more calming activities such as Yoga or stretching. There are so many poses that you can do at home – without having to hit an hour long yoga class that can quickly help you feel calm, rejuvenated, focused and grounded. Forward bending poses actually help to turn on your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that allows us to feel calm and restored (the opposite system of fight or flight). So when you are about to lose your cool because of the chaos, take 3 minutes, head into a quiet area and try a forward bend and do some deep breathing. Examples are standing forward bend, seated forward bend or child’s pose. You will be amazed at how a few minutes of this with breathing can help calm down the frenzy were feeling. Other great options for restoring balance are poses such as Tree Pose or Mountain Pose that help you feel more focuses and grounded.
And Finally, Don't Forget To Have Fun!
The holidays are all about fun – but sometimes it feels like it is always planned and can eventually feel like it’s a chore rather than fun. So, do a few impromptu fun things this holiday! Get the family out for an evening sleigh ride to go see the holiday lights, make a snowman or have a snowball fight – just have some real fun!