THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dr. Bryn Hyndman Headshot

How To Relieve Holiday Stress

Posted: Updated:
HOLIDAY STRESS
SebastianGauert via Getty Images
Print

While the holiday season can be a fun, festive and joyful time of year, it can also be the root cause of lots of stress. The demands of shopping, parties, baking, entertaining and family can leave people feeling anything but relaxed.

If the holiday season has you worked up and stressed out, here are my go-to strategies to help cope with the pressures of the season.

Get Outside

When life gets busy, exercise is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Holiday plans are most often done indoors, so switch things up. Make plans with friends and family to do an outdoor activity instead of an indoor gathering with sugary foods and alcohol. Go for a walk, wander through an outdoor market or head to local hills and enjoy tobogganing. Getting outdoors and doing something active can do wonders for clearing the mind and gives you a dose of endorphins.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and make sure to carve out time for yourself. Book a massage, attend your favourite exercise class or enjoy a quiet night in to recharge your batteries. Rest and relaxation help's to support the immune system in a healthy way. Even taking 10 minutes to breathe deeply can help slow the heart rate and bring you to a more relaxed state.

Boost your Immune System

Less sleep and more holiday indulgences like sugar and alcohol can be the perfect breeding ground for colds and flus. During the daytime, make sure your diet is rich with superfoods and key supplements including Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and green tea extract to ward off sickness. To get these supplements and nutrients into your body quickly, immune-boosting IV therapy is a great alternative to oral supplements. When vitamins enter your body through an IV, they bypass the digestive tract and will go exactly where your body needs extra support.

Be Honest

The holiday to-do list can often be extensive and overwhelming. Stress tends to build up when everything on the list starts to feel like a top priority. Evaluate the list and decide what is most important to you and what can be dropped. Particularly when it comes to events and parties, be honest with yourself and decide whether or not you really want to attend. If you're not obligated to go to an event that you don't genuinely enjoy, send your regrets and use the available time to do something you like or recharge your batteries.

Tune In

Listening to music not only helps you get into the holiday spirit, but it can also help you relax. Studies have shown that music can lower your heart rate and reduce stress. Putting on your favourite holiday songs can help your brain relax, improve productivity and make living feel more lively and festive in an authentic way.

Unplug

Emails, texts, work notifications. They can send anyone into a spin of anxiety. Despite taking time off to be with friends and family, many still feel the pressure to keep up with work and find it hard to turn off their phone. Scheduling time for checking emails and then powering down the rest of the day can be a great way to balance. Treat it as a task that needs to be completed. Once it is done, do your best to separate yourself and enjoy other activities. Be present in what is happening around you, as holidays are all about making memories.

Give Back

Nothing can take away the holiday stress like giving back and helping someone in need. Whether it is giving to your favourite charity, donating to the local food bank or volunteering to help in the community, the holiday season is the perfect time of year to make a positive change in the lives of others. While it is important to give to others, don't leave yourself off the list. Find a way to give yourself healthy indulgences like a massage or fitness class. The holidays are to be enjoyed by everyone, so make sure you take of yourself while you also take care of those around you.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook