The holiday season can truly be the most wonderful time of the year. Who doesn’t love indulging on the season’s best foods and checking out neighborhoods decked out in lights? But between social obligations, shopping, and celebratory meals, it can also be stressful. The good news is that sneaking some stress relief into your busy schedule can be easier than you thought. Here are a few ways you can approach it.
Get some exercise.
Sometimes, the last thing you want to do after days of family and friend gatherings filled with rich foods is hit the gym. But it’s a great way to both stay in shape and manage your stress during the holidays.
Travel can complicate things, but if you are traveling, it’s a good idea to throw some sneakers and workout clothes in your bag so you can sneak in a workout anywhere.
If you’re feeling a little overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may want to pull on your winter coat and head outside. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce your cortisol — otherwise known as the stress hormone — levels. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of spending time outside, you can reap some of the benefits. Just looking at photos of nature has been found to have some benefits.
Take some time for yourself — and don’t be afraid to say no.
The holidays are all about being with loved ones, so it can be easy to overlook yourself in all the hubbub. But if you’re feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to call a timeout and spend some time on self-care. Maybe your self-care is taking a bubble bath, scheduling a massage, heading to the gym, or indulging in some retail therapy — whatever it is, enjoy the moment and let yourself feel refreshed.
Instead of getting caught up in everything you need to check off your list, take a few moments to focus on what you’re doing right now. Take some time to focus your attention on the present — the smells, sounds, sights, and feelings around you.
Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can help with stress and anxiety. Fortunately, it’s easy to incorporate into your daily life.
No matter where the holiday season takes you, make sure you bring a stress-relief strategy along. And if you still have questions about how to manage your stress, we’re here to help anytime. At Prosperity Internal Medicine, we wish you happy holidays!
If you are due for a physical, or if you feel sick and it’s not an emergency, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.