Do you look forward to the holiday season as one of relaxed fun with family and friends over delicious meals and shared activities, or do you dread the stress, anxiety, poor eating habits, and exhaustion?
According to a mental health expert, it is possible that holidays bring seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during holiday season – and we don’t want this to happen to you!
Rewrite the script this year by following these tips for a stress free holiday that will see you looking forward to the New Year with energy and motivation. Let’s get started!
Best Tips For A Stress Free Holiday
We want to help you get away with holiday stress this year, so take a look at these 8 healthy habits for your mental health this holiday season!
Tip #1: Pare Down Your Holiday List
Do you feel obligated to give gifts to a large list of family members and friends? Trying to find the perfect gift for each person on your list while navigating your holiday social calendar and other obligations is sure to send your stress level through the roof.
Shorten your gift list and to do list to those closest to you, and then you’ll have time to put more thought into making each one meaningful. Rather than one more item to put on their shelves, your close family and friends might enjoy gifts that offer a bit of choice on their part, such as restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, or gift cards for local attractions such as concert venues, parks or amusements. Kids might enjoy craft activities.
Tip #2: Plan Parties And Gatherings With More Emphasis On People, And Less On Perfection
If you experience stress about making every moment and every holiday activity perfect, you’ll miss out on the fun! Research some simple, easy-to-prepare, and healthier foods. Add in a few fun holiday games and activities. You’ll have people engaging with each other and making new memories and you’ll be much less stressed.
Tip #3: Give Back
Build some new holiday traditions with your family and friends that make others’ lives better. People who give back are healthier both physically and mentally, and that’s a great way to make your holiday season better!
Plan a food drive, volunteer with family or friends, adopt a family to provide meals or gifts for the holidays, pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant, or give a secret gift to someone who can use a boost. Ways to give back are endless – just use your imagination!
Tip #4: Stay Hydrated!
Choose water over alcohol or other sugary drinks that are so popular during the holidays. Avoid too much alcohol. A good way to lessen the effects of holiday drinks is to have a glass of water or sparkling water between alcoholic drinks.
Try some creative ways to hydrate – prepare peppermint or other teas, flavor your water with lemon or lime, and eat fruits and vegetables with high water content. It’s so easy to become dehydrated when you are busy or stressed, which leads to fatigue and depression. Drink up!
Tip #5: Focus On Taste And Texture For Holiday Fare
Simple, well-seasoned, and interesting foods will satisfy more than sugary, processed meals. You don’t have to miss out on holiday goodies, but enjoy them sparingly and focus on fruits and veggies to fill your plate.
When faced with a buffet table, take a small plate and then move away to enjoy conversation and activities. Eat slowly. If you overindulge, an intermittent fast of 12-16 hours is a great way to get back on track, and reset your body. Research a new healthy holiday dish that you can bring to parties.
Tip #6: Manage Your Stress
Even with careful planning, added holiday activities can bring on the stress and affect your entire well being. Take time to exercise with a walk, de stress, a quick trip to the gym or pool, or any activity that gets you moving.
Schedule a soothing massage, or spend some time in the hot tub or sauna. Remember to breathe deeply. Stretch. Listen to comforting music, or read a good book.
Tip #6: Take Time To Sleep And Relax
Turn off the screens, take a warm bath or shower, and give yourself some time to relax before bed. Sleep is important at all times, but during stressful times it’s crucial. Set a regular schedule for sleep and perhaps find some time during the day for a quick power nap.
Tip #7: Be Creative To Keep Moving
Go for a walk with your friends or family or enjoy another fun holiday activity. Use your busy holiday activities such as shopping and cleaning as opportunities to move. Take the stairs, park your car a bit farther away, or grab some time for a walk during lunch or in the evenings. Play in a park with a child, or enjoy some fetch time with the family pet.
Tip #8: Pay Attention To Holiday Safety
Wash your hands often, get plenty of fresh air, great sleep, eat right, vitamins, wear your seat belt, don’t drink and drive and don’t ride with someone who has been drinking. Get a flu shot and other recommended vaccinations. Don’t forget your supplements.
De-Stress With Us This Holiday Season!
With a little mindfulness, you can navigate the holiday season feeling great, making new traditions and enjoying old ones with your loved ones and friends. Happy Holidays!
By incorporating these tips with regular massage therapy sessions when you’re feeling healthy, you can give your immune system the extra boost it needs to stay strong and in full virus-fighting mode during the winter sickness season.
Visit www.avalleyofvitality.com or call today 928.442.6026 to book an appointment so you can focus on boosting your immune system and avoiding the winter sickness season.