health blogStress less and enjoy the holidays

Upset woman on computer
The to-do list never seems to get shorter but the calendar says there are only a few days left to Christmas and New Year celebrations. There’s the year-end crunch at work to wrap up projects before Jan. 1. Throw in a badly timed snowstorm and all of your plans get trampled like slush underfoot. Instead, take some time for yourself and help melt away the stress so you can enjoy the season of joy.

Dr. Eudene Harry, author of Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps and Anxiety 101, reminds us that stress affects our immune systems. Getting sick could really ruin the holidays. She offers a few tips to keep you from being overwhelmed during the holidays.

Number one on her list: Just say no. You do not have to attend every function, say yes to all requests for baked good and to hosting a family dinner. Before you automatically say yes to all incoming requests, try saying, thank you for inviting me, I need to check my calendar to be sure there are no conflicts. Let me get back to you. (And feel good about saying no if you need to.)

Another important tip: Relax and get your sleep.
Incorporate some relaxation time during the day. It can be as simple as taking five minutes to breathe in and out slowly and deeply. This type of breathing has been shown to decrease stress levels and heart rate and has been even associated with other benefits such as lowering blood pressure.

Give yourself a gift: how about a bath with a magnesium salt and an essential oil such as lavender. It can help to soothe those sore muscles and relax the mind. Before bed is a perfect time to wind down.

Dr. Harry says, lack of sleep will leave you more prone to making poor decisions, not to mention more prone to irritability and anxiety. So make sure you hit the hay and try for at least seven hours of sleep a night.

After all, if you don't enjoy getting ready for the holidays, what's the point?

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