If You Get Holiday Stress, Here Are Some Tips to Help You Relax
Understand and defeat common holiday stressors this winter
Hanna Kim - December 19, 2018
The winter holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many. More than 80% of us feel more stress during the holidays, starting around when Thanksgiving rolls in until after the New Year. So much happens during these festive winter months. It’s not necessarily all negative stressors, but actually may be the contrary.
Find out how you can better manage some popular holiday stressors so that you can enjoy the most wonderful time of year.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry in a Way that’s Healthy for You
As the saying goes, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing, which can end up taking a toll on us in its own way. It’s easy to go overboard during the holidays with all the fun to be had. We might overindulge in Christmas spirits by drinking too much mulled wine or eggnog or find ourselves in a sugar rush from all the baked treats and candy canes. Others may forget their budgets and overdo spending on holiday gifts or feel overwhelmed by everyone and everything they feel the need to see before the year is up.
1) Establish Your Priorities
Remember to curb your indulgences by planning smarter consumption habits. Figure out how you’re most needed and who you most want to spend time with this holiday by creating a prioritized list of events to go to and people to see. Before you get there, eat and drink what you would normally have to stay healthy so that you don’t fill yourself with less nutritious party snacks and drinks.
2) Consider Your Unique Situation
The holidays are often thought of as a time where we’re supposed to be surrounded by our loved ones, but sometimes that is just not the reality due to many factors. Perhaps someone dear to you has passed recently or work-related travel takes you far from your family.
Realize it’s perfectly normal to feel pain. Take the time to understand and express your emotions and find a way to take care of your needs. Forcing happiness for the sake of the holidays can be counterproductive.
3) Beat SAD By Exploring Colorado’s Great Outdoors
Luckily for those who live in or are visiting Denver, winter isn’t a time you need to slow down on outdoors activities. The cold winter weather can prevent you from wanting to go outside, but in Colorado, we experience 300+ days of sunshine each year so we can still comfortably partake in outdoor activities like cross-country skiing through one of the many Nordic Centers or even continue your trail-running in Evergreen. Outdoor activities help regulate your emotions, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that brings stress and anxiety to many.
4) Invest in Self-Care that Works
Self-care done right is not an indulgence, but instead a discipline to build upon for a healthy life. Figure out what you need in your life to help you actually de-stress instead of masking it with unhealthy habits.
Real self-care can sometimes seem boring or limiting and can include things like saying “no” to favors that you don’t want to do, or parties you don’t have the time to attend, or even turning off your phone a couple of hours before bed so you don’t overexpose yourself to harmful bluelight that cuts into restful sleep.
Self-care can also include services like massage therapy, that may seem like a luxury, but can actually be a worthwhile monthly investment for wellness. Increasing research, for example, at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School lead by Director Tiffany Field is showing promising outcomes of receiving massage therapy. Benefits of massage include decreased depression and anxiety, better sleep, reduced stress hormones, increased immunity, and pain relief.
5) Remember to Breathe
Remind yourself to take deep breaths regularly. Breathing is one of those things that should come naturally, but it’s rather easy to forget how to do so when we experience stress. Notice when something stressful happens, how your body tenses up and your breathing shortens. Building a practice of mindful breathing can help quickly dissolve holiday stress.
Whether you need some mid-holiday relaxation or post-holiday recovery, LoDo Massage has got you covered. “Indulge” in a way that’s good for you with one of our specials. You can choose a Private Yoga & Massage Combo, Thai & Table Massage Combo, or Ashiatsu & Deep Tissue Massage Combos that our studio offers.