Dr. Michael Omidi offers some tips on how to keep stress levels down over the holidays in this blog entry.
The holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer and joy, but they can also create stress. You want to make sure everything is perfect, and it never is. Stress is unavoidable, but you can do some things to help mitigate it. If you find yourself at the end of your yuletide wits, use healthy ways to cope.
That can be easier said than done, but keep in mind, elevated levels of stress can cause other symptoms. In order to help you through some rough holiday times, I’ve created a list of some things you can do to keep your stress levels down.
Connect with People
The holidays are to be spent with loved ones. Instead of worrying about how things are coming off with your festivities focus on your guests. Try to connect with them. When things are all said and done, people remember the emotional connections they make more than the color of your tablecloth.
When things don’t go as planned, don’t worry about it. If you are stressed, it can make people around you stressed. Remain calm and remember comedy equals tragedy, plus time.
Sometimes the people around you can cause stress. Don’t let someone else dampen your holiday spirits no matter how hard they try!
Take Care of Your Body
It can be easy to neglect yourself when worrying about others. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat well. Your mental health starts with your body. We can get crabby when we are dehydrated or hungry. To be your best, start right.
Try to get some exercise throughout the season. Exercising is great for reducing or eliminating stress. If you feel a stress coming on, talk a brisk walk. Getting some fresh air and burning some calories will help you to calm down.
Deep breathing helps to increase oxygen levels in our bodies, which can help relieve stress. You can be mindful of this all day to help your mood, or become focused during times of anxiety. Inhale slowly through your nose, filling your lungs totally and slowly release. Do this a few times until you feel relief.
The best advice is to remember that things don’t have to be perfect, or just like the year before. Every year is special, hang-ups and all. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Spending time with those around you is what the season is about. Everything else is small stuff.
Happy and healthy holidays,
Dr. Michael Omidi