The holidays aren’t always fun and games for everyone; they can be stressful for a variety of reasons. They can be stressful enough without the added pressure of less time to prepare. With school programs, gathering loved ones, decorating, baking, shopping at busy malls and wrapping gifts, things are never calm.
But if you can find just a few minutes in your day, I have a couple stress-busting tips that may quiet the chatter in your head.
Most of us don’t breathe properly, meaning we take shallow breaths from our diaphragms rather than inhaling deeply to the pit of our bellies. This type of breathing keeps your body in the “fight or flight” mode which is characteristic of high stress levels.
The best stress buster is to simply breathe. Practicing deep breathing signals your body to relax, says fitness expert Jeff Christian. The best method involves sitting up, closing your eyes, then inhaling for 3 counts and exhaling for 6 counts.
Repeat this simple procedure for 5 to 10 minutes. No matter what distractions pop into your mind, keep breathing. It will help to melt away those distractions and other worries you may have. And from personal experience, I can tell you the more you practice this breathing technique, the better it works!
Maybe it’s listening to your favorite music or taking a brisk walk outside. For some it’s sipping a cup of soothing green tea or writing down the stressors that make your life challenging. Find your happy place. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Taking a moment for yourself will help you to clear your head and calm down.
Whatever you do, don’t let the negatives of the holiday season zap your enjoyment or your energy. Take some time for yourself, slow down, and relish the special season the holidays can bring.
Being calm and busting your stress can have a huge impact on your wallet as well. We’ve all been there. Trying to finish up holiday shopping for those last few people and being so stressed that you just grab the first thing you see…and not caring about the price! Take a deep breath and breathe.
By Barbara Miller