Mile-long counter lines. Crowded streets and restaurants; jam-packed shopping malls. End-of-year reviews and big plans for the year ahead. Whoever said holidays are all about fun, peace, and comfort?
In the wake of Christmas holidays, many of us are frantically running around wielding knee-tall To Do lists and trying to tie up loose ends in the nick of time. Unfortunately, all that last-minute commotion can get out of hand and evolve into frenzy-meets-ecstasy state where stress lurks in every errand and chore, a silent yet highly dangerous psychological predator in disguise ready to pounce on your mental strength and chew off a large chunk of your energy. Fortunately, there are a few way to curb holiday stress and survive the days ahead feeling as merry and as peaceful as the season commands it.
Eat Your Way to Inner Peace
Don’t let winter blues eat up your inner peace: you can easily cheat the holiday stress monster by arming your plate with the right foods. To curb anxiety which often occurs at Christmas, stock your carte du jour with avocados, asparagus, blueberries, rice, almonds, oranges, spinach, milk, and oatmeal. These foods are powerful stress busters, so adding them to the holiday banquet will help keep your figure sexy and your nerves as strong as steel all through the chilly season.
Sweat It Out of Your System
Regular exercise is another stress buster that can work like a charm against Christmas glum. To stay in peak physical and mental shape in the days to come, don’t put your workout agenda on hold: in fact, why just not book a few extra personal trainer gym sessions and use the time off work to sweat out all the stress that’s been building up inside you all year long? That way, you’ll get to knock off a few pounds while most of the holiday crowd is busy putting on weight.
Fragrance of Your Private Zen
Ancient sages didn’t let everyday (or holiday) stress chip chinks off their nirvana, and they used fine fragrances to scent the way to Zen. Aromatherapy is a time-honored relaxation technique you can use to improve sleep quality, beat holiday stress and blues, and unleash the feelings of joy, comfort, and tranquility. To nip tension and depression in the bud, sprinkle your bedclothes with a few drops of lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, or Roman chamomile oil or add them to your bedtime bath.
Squeeze Stress Out, Literally
If you think a squeeze never helped anyone overcome stress, you’re utterly mistaken. A few firm squeezes at the right spots can alleviate tension and calm down your nervous system. The best part? You need not be a Chinese medicine practitioner or acupressure expert: simply locate the hoku spot (fleshy area between the thumb and index finger), press it firmly for 30 seconds, take a deep breath, and watch stress, panic, and upper body tension disappear in a blink of an eye.
Smile, Socialize, Sleep, Repeat
Cabin fever is a nasty critter indeed, and all matters psychological can get pretty ugly if it decides to join forces with end-of-year anxiety, FOMO, and seasonal affective disorder. When Christmas stress hits the fan, don’t withdraw from the rest of the world: a host of studies found that social interactions can reduce the likelihood of various chronic conditions and improve life quality. So, this Christmas, find the mental strength to endure the family lunch or go out and paint the town red on New Year’s Eve: even a casual exchange of seasonal greetings with a compete stranger will be an investment in your long-term emotional health. And besides, who can keep stressing over work-related problems with Jingle Bell Rock in the air?
Holidays are a time to be jolly, but they’re also a time when stress can easily get out of hand and spoil the fun. Don’t let anxiety and mood swings find you home this Christmas: stock your bag of stress management tricks with these simple tactics and your enjoyment and peace of mind won’t fall short of the mark. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!