5 Ways to Manage Stress and Stay Mindful Through the Holidays
The holidays can be stressful. Lots of running around, crowded malls, friends and family coming over, travelling; it can get to you after a while and you find yourself not enjoying the holiday season as much as you would like. Take some to time to relax and reconnect. It’s good for you, and it takes less time than you think.
You don’t need to take a weekend at the spa. Each of these stress-relieving tips can get you from frazzled to relaxed in less than 15 minutes.
A few minutes of a meditation practice each day can help ease anxiety. Studies suggest that just 5-7 minutes of daily meditation can alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.
It’s simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting – out loud or silently – a positive mantra such as “I am at peace” or “I am happy.” Place one hand on your belly and one hand over your heart and sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts just float right out of your mind.
Place a warm towel or heat wrap around your shoulders or neck for a few minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. You can even use this relaxation time as mediation. After about ten minutes, remove the wrap and gently massage away tension.
- Laugh Out Loud
A good belly laugh doesn’t just make you feel good. It also lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts endorphins, which help improve your mood. Lighten up by watching a funny video on YouTube, renting a holiday comedy movie, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.
- Crank Up the Tunes
Listening to relaxing music can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies and artists. You can also blow off steam by rocking out to more upbeat tunes and singing at the top of your lungs!
- Be Grateful
Keeping a gratitude journal can help you remember all the things that are wonderful in your life. It is also a great way to relieve stress. Being grateful for your blessings will stop negative thoughts and worries in their tracks so you can get back to enjoying your day.