Holiday Stress Busters: Lifestyle Tools We All Can Use

1. It’s Ok to Say No

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With the holiday season approaching there are probably added obligations and tasks on your plate with more social engagements, gift giving, shopping, etc. Time management can be a challenge, but also an opportunity. The hustle, bustle and anxious feeling of  “not having enough time” is an opportunity to take responsibility of how you experience the time. First choose and prioritize what is important and where you want to be spending your time. What is essential? What do you value versus what is obligatory? Are you doing some things because you enjoy them or because now they are just expected of you? The courage comes in that it may require saying no to an event(s), setting boundaries, and not being everything to everyone. This may also require understanding and releasing our self of guilt in the process. But in the end it may help to create a more peaceful, balanced  and joyful holiday season.

2. STOP the Carryover Effect

One of the biggest challenges of the season is the “carryover effect.” You’ve just had an evening of drink and food indulgence. Mentally you know you have splurged, so it’s easy to slip into the mindset that a little splurge the next day won’t matter. This starts the carryover effect where one day of slack leads to the next and so on until you have let most self control go until the proverbial start of the new year. This also can send you into blood sugar spiking and crashing increasing emotional and mental anxiousness and fluxes.

To stop the carryover effect, commit and plan your “day after reboot” ahead of time. Have your detox meals set for the day, ideally already prepared, and stick to it. Tell yourself it is only one day, but that one day will help to reset your system. Stay away from carbohydrates, sugars and sweets and have clean meals of veggies and protein or veggies and broths will be sure to get you back on track and feeling motivated and balanced.

3. Make a Morning Contract

Being vigilant with exercise during the holidays can be challenging. Errands, events and party hangovers can provide ample excuses to skip your workout routine. Staying on track is vital, so don’t go it alone. Enroll a conscientious friend or friends and schedule your workouts together as “can’t miss” appointments on your calendars. Create a contract you can each sign and commit to one another that you will show up. Keeping your fitness routine during the holidays will pay off dividends physically and psychologically.  

4. VALUE Your Sleep   

It’s the easiest to fall victim and sacrifice, HOWEVER Sleep is the most critical time for the body to repair, recover and restore and the most important factor in overall health. ESPECIALLY during the holidays it is important to value your sleep and try to keep as consistent a bedtime as possible. Quality sleep boosts your immune system, helps with weight and keeping hunger in check, as well as emotionally more balanced. Take the steps to create a consistent bedtime, eliminate stimulus prior to bed, have a dark room and a nightly wind down ritual to help promote better sleep patterns even in the midst of the holidays.

Susan Bianchi