As the holidays approach us, you may find your stress level begins to increase. Although it may not be completely avoidable, creating and engaging in healthy habits will help you manage and cope with the stress you may be experiencing. With the many yummy treats and cocktail parties that come along with the holiday season, it makes it super easy to overindulge, develop unhealthy habits and poor coping strategies.
Eating as healthy as possible as the holidays near will not only help reduce some of the “festive” weight gain, but it will also help with your overall stress level by ensuring that you are getting the essential vitamins and minerals needed to combat stress (amino acids, vitamin B’s, magnesium, and zinc to name a few). If you are eating unhealthy foods, taking in far too much alcohol and consuming high amounts of caffeine, you could be contributing to anxious feelings in turn causing your stress to worsen. Try to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Be sure you are getting your movement in daily in any form you choose. Exercise will help relieve stress by providing an outlet for tension and those feelings of overwhelm. In addition, it will allow your body to release endorphins that boost your mood and bring you some positivity. It is such a great way to clear and distract your mind. The form of exercise you choose does not have to be strenuous by any means, you just have to be consistent by showing up for yourself daily for 20-30 minutes. Try incorporating a short walk each day, blast the music and dance in your living room, or practice some stretching and yoga. Don’t make it complicated, just have fun with it and enjoy whatever form of movement you desire.
Enjoying time with friends and family over a nice meal, hors d’oeuvres and drinks makes for great memories and a fun filled festivities, however, for many, this is a way to escape their feelings and turn to alcohol as a way to cope. While it may help you forget about things for a couple of hours, it adds to the stress and can easily lead to a very dangerous cycle.
If you are dealing with a lot of stress over the holidays, reach out for support. No one wants or deserves to be completely miserable and overwhelmed. If other healthy lifestyle changes aren’t helping, it might be time to see a counselor or therapist. They can help you understand the underlying cause, especially at this time of year and teach you healthy ways to cope and perhaps reduce it.
For more holistic approaches to dealing with stress, be sure to download my FREE guide book, The Happier Healthier You. This was developed to help those that may be struggling with stress and anxiety while sharing some of the practices I utlize within my own life and with my children.