8 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
Do less, enjoy more
"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more."
Stick with your daily routine
Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle.
Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry.
Savor a spicy meal
Hot foods trigger the release of endorphins—the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being,.
Dip into some honey
You'll get an instant kick and energy for the long haul. Plus, research shows that its antioxidant and antibacterial properties may improve your immunity. Here's a tip: The darker the honey, the more powerful the antioxidant punch.
Fit in exercise
It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or catching a class can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don't over schedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Remember: It's OK to slow down a bit.