3 Basic Tips for Relieving Stress Around the Holidays
The Winter holiday season is a great time to reflect on the year past and maybe get some face-to-face time with relatives that you’ve only seen on FaceTime recently. Of course, these can also be stressful times, especially with rising inflation and having gone through a global pandemic the past couple of years.
Just like you can’t blame a team when your NCAAF picks don’t hit (instead of blaming yourself for making the wager), combatting stress around the holidays starts from within. When you’ve got your mind, body, and soul in check, then outside factors like travel or finances don’t have as big of an effect on your mental health. Here are some tips for relieving holiday stress.
Be Active Outside
It’s a broken record at this point, but exercising, playing sports, and just being mobile is the best way to relieve stress year round – but especially around the holidays. When all we do is eat at family gatherings and then sit around and talk, it unlocks the door for weight gain and then subsequent depression that is already more prevalent in the Winter months when it’s dark earlier, and we’re inside more.
It is that if you could bottle up the endorphins released by even just moderate exercise, it would be the most addictive drug of all time. Plus, there’s no hangover (being sore after a workout is a good hurt), and you don’t have to meet any shady dealers in a back alley to get this fix.
“How can I get outside around the holidays if it’s cold out?” This one is the following question. It is important to note that getting the heart pumping when it’s freezing out can cause your blood vessels to constrict, so it is essential to be safe, but for the most part, outdoor exercise, even in lower temps, are a breath of fresh air – literally.
In many cases exercising outside (even just going for walks) is more efficient because your body is working that much harder to keep the core temperature regulated. This kicks in the metabolism, which burns more calories and fat. Plus, when you’re getting outside, you’ll let your immune system breathe a bit instead of just being stuck indoors fighting off dirt, dander, and bacteria.
One of the most anxiety-causing feelings is when you wake up at 7:50 and have to be at work by 8:00. It just rushes everything and honestly ruins the whole day just from the scurrying, which means you might forget your lunch, put your shirt on backward, crashing into the mailbox leaving the driveway, etc.
When you wake up early, you’ve got time to prepare, and that same approach should be used for the holiday season. Many people don’t have a problem with this as they start their holiday shopping in October, but those who begin checking off their list just a couple of days before the gathering know it can be stressful.
Not procrastinating also isn’t just about gifts. It’s about where the holiday gatherings are going to be held, outfits, travel, etc. It’s much easier said than done but getting ahead of the game is such a relief.
No matter where you live on the globe, we live in a very divided society right now – and that’s by design. Whether it’s the cable news or social media algorithms, it seems that divisiveness is what pays the bills.
The final tip for relieving holiday stress is to avoid political talk at any family gatherings. You’ve got your facts from your particular sources but so has your uncle from his media and social media outlets. Let’s be honest; nobody is changing anybody’s mind about their take on politics, so don’t even try. Save your bickering for a Facebook thread where family members can simply scroll on by and not feel awkward when they are just trying to catch up with Grandma.