Make it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Really!

With the busy holiday season already in swing, the daily stresses and strains can begin to take a toll for many of us. Questions fill our heads such as, will I get my work accomplished so I will be able to spend quality time with my family? Will I have enough budgeted to buy the gifts on my list? Will this be a joyous season without feeling overwhelmed?
The American Psychological Association found that almost half of all women in the U.S. experience a great deal of added stress during the holidays because of taking on the role of planning large holiday parties, decorating, shopping and much more. The study shows that women take on more than men and therefore are more likely to fall into bad habits to manage their stress, like comfort eating. This can put their health at risk since stress causes so many problems. The good news is you can handle those stresses and more this holiday season –simply remind yourself that all the hectic holiday hustle and bustle can be fought off by putting some helpful tactics in place.
Ways to relax and get through the holidays with less stress
Meditation can be a great way to restore your sense of calm, even if done for a few minutes each day. Relaxation and calmness translates to good mental health. The Mayo Clinic shares the importance of meditation, what types are available, and how to put the practice of mediation into your life.
Another way to ward off stress is to remind yourself to be happy for what you have. As the psychology researchers have found, it’s important to keep a “gratitude journal.” Take a moment out of your day and jot down all those things that make your life a joy. All of the sudden, you may find yourself focusing on the things that make you happy instead of the things that are causing stress and anxiety in your life.
Next, toss in some simple techniques you can put into place anytime, anywhere.
  1. Walk faster than normal while doing your holiday shopping. The faster you move, the more endorphins you produce. That in turn will make your mood more positive and help you to be stress-free.
  2. Step outside for a dose of Vitamin D. Fifteen minutes twice a day of sunshine will provide you with most of the Vitamin D you need and it will fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), along with stress.
  3. Eat low fat, healthy foods during this busy time of year. Unhealthy treats will only fill you with empty calories and leave you without energy which can enhance stress. Focus on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and legumes, nuts and seeds for that ultimate feel good refueling. 
Take charge of your health
Taking small steps all year long, along with monitoring your health at a 9Health Fair each year, can go a long way in keeping you healthy and enjoying the holidays. You will have peace of mind after visiting a 9Health Fair knowing you are “owning your health”.
Make this holiday season relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free. As Andy Williams sings, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and by following the simple solutions above, it really can be!

What do you do to take the stress out of the holiday season? Share with us on Facebook.