12 Oct Fight Holiday Stress With These Fun Activities
During the holidays, you can’t afford to be stressed out. This is the time that families are reunited over long dinners and lazy evenings. October is the start of our annual “down time” where the weather gets a little colder and we all move a little slower. We understand that life has a way of making demands even when you simply want to relax, so we’ve put together some tips on how you can fight holiday stress. Give them a try this holiday season. You’re sure to notice a world of difference.
- Make use of sunlight to heighten your mood
Sunlight plays a crucial role in relieving seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition that impacts millions of people every year. It also stimulates the production of serotonin. If you are to improve your mood, consider spending some few hours outdoors on a sunny day. Read a book next to a sunny window or share a cup of your favorite tea while on a walk with a loved one.
- Use citrus
Norepinephrine is a hormone that affects mood. Low levels of norepinephrine can lead to stress. Some citrus fragrances have been proven to alleviate stress and improve feelings of well-being, so if you need a quick pick-me-up, give citrus a try. You can try eating citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits, or use citrus-scented essential oils.
- Take a walk
When you take a walk, you are literally walking away from your worries. According to nutritionists, walking has a soothing effect on your brain, and it tends to improve sleep. Walking also decreases anxiety. For best results, take at least a half-hour walk every day.
- Use 5-HTP
Lack of adequate sleep has been linked to stress. If you are fighting with stress, it is essential that you check your sleep patterns. Do you sleep enough? Do you stay awake long into the night? 5-HTP is a plant extract that is believed to boost serotonin, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety. If you are taking antidepressant medications, consult your doctor before using this plant extract. Always better safe than sorry.
- Laugh more
Psychologist Steve Wilson argues that laughing reduces stress hormones. This, in turn, assists the immune system to function more efficiently. If something makes you happy, find a way to get more of it. Laugh with your children and allow yourself to just be silly. You’ll be surprised at how well this will work for you. Making the conscious decision to let go of stress and simply enjoy life will do wonders for you.
- Forget perfection
In today’s rough and tumble world, it’s difficult to get everything on your to-do list done, much less done perfectly. Taking care of your family or working hard at your job…or both, will drive you insane unless you give yourself a little wiggle room to embrace your imperfections. Try not to become overly obsessed with perfection and focus more on the things that make you happy. Trust us, no one will mind if dinner is a few minutes late or the laundry isn’t all perfectly folded.
- Get out of the house
Once in awhile, treat yourself to a dinner out on the town. After all, you deserve it! Choose somewhere with a nice view where you can eat at a leisurely pace and not be bombarded with loud conversation and boisterous company. Surround yourself with friends and family that will make the evening fun and enjoyable. Just let the world go for a few hours and embrace this simple yet necessary escape.
Sometimes, things don’t work out as planned, and that’s quite alright. Learn to find humor in the mishaps. The holidays don’t have to be a time of year that you dread. With a little planning, forethought, and time to take care of yourself, you can set yourself up to have the best holiday season ever!
Dr. Sue Reddy specializes in the treatment of infectious disease among many other specialties. She understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. Please feel free to take a look around her website and if you feel she provides services you may be interested in, give Dr. Reddy a call. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.