The holidays can be a very challenging time for a variety of reasons. You may be stressed about cooking dinner for a large group, you may be missing someone, or worried about the money spent over the holiday season. During times of stress, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. In this post, we will go through three strategies to handle the stress of the holidays.
1. Deep Breathing
Breathing is an incredible tool for regulating the nervous system. You have more control than you may think over your heart rate, and the feeling of stress in your body. Breath deeply into your lower belly through your nose, counting to at least 4. Then, exhale slowly through your nose or mouth, counting to at least 5. Repeat this at least 10 times, and notice the relief in your body and mind.
When we are stressed, we have energy stored in our body that needs to go somewhere. Movement is a great way to direct it. Walk, stretch, dance, run, bike- whatever works for you! Exercise helps us complete the stress cycle, so stress doesn’t build up in the body. Just a few minutes can work wonders.
Often, the weather makes going outside difficult during the holidays. Here are some ideas for moving while it's cold outside:
- Shovel some snow: If you live in a place that snows, take advantage of this chore and get your workout in while clearing your driveway/walkway. You get some bonus fresh air at the same time!
- Dance to some Christmas music: Put on some holiday tunes (or if you're sick of that music, your favourite tracks) and dance. Your family or pets may want to join in, too.
- Go to your local gym: If you have a gym membership, go for a workout indoors. If you don't have one, try your local community center for the gym or pool.
- Go for a winter walk: Bundle up and enjoy the festive lights and snow. Remember your gloves!
If you don’t already have a meditation practice, now is the time to start! Meditation is an incredible tool for learning to be present, and not feeding into stress. For more information on what meditation is and ways to practice it, check out our other blog posts!
These are just a few ways to help combat stress, both during the holidays and any time of year. I hope you try them out and feel some relief!
If you are looking for online movement and meditations classes, our expert movement coaches on Stream TBC have resources to support you!