Managing your stress at the holidays may seem like an impossible task, but even just a few minutes a day can help benefit your health, your metabolism and even help you enjoy your holidays more!
Here are 5 of my favorite ways to manage stress at the holidays:
Having a regular gratitude practice can be beneficial for many aspects of our health, but it can be easy to lose sight of the good amongst all of the holiday stress and business. This festive season, try to implement a quick and simple gratitude practice either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Aim to find 5 different things you’re grateful for that day, and this can be rooted in both the small things (a delicious cup of coffee, a kind word from a friend) and the big things (your health, your family, etc).
Box breathing, also known as square breathing or four-square breathing, is a simple and effective relaxation technique. It involves a specific pattern of breath control that helps reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Here are step-by-step instructions for box breathing:
Find a Comfortable Position: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Make sure your spine is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed.
Close Your Eyes (Optional): If you feel comfortable, close your eyes to minimize external distractions and focus inward.
Breathe In (Inhale): Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. As you breathe in, count to four in your mind.
Hold Your Breath (Pause): After inhaling, hold your breath for a count of four. Keep the air in your lungs without straining.
Exhale Slowly (Exhale): Begin to exhale slowly and completely through your mouth. Again, count to four as you release the air. Try to empty your lungs as much as possible.
Pause Again: After exhaling, pause for another count of four. Keep your lungs empty during this pause.
My favorite natural stress reliever is ashwaganda, which is an adaptogen that helps your body cope with stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha helps regulate cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. By moderating cortisol secretion, it can help alleviate feelings of heightened stress. It also has calming properties that promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety, making it easier to navigate through hectic holiday schedules.
Walking can provide an opportunity for solitude if you need some alone time to clear your mind. It also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. This can help reduce stress and boost feelings of well-being. Plus, going for a walk outdoors, especially somewhere like a park or trail, exposes you to fresh air and nature, which can have a calming effect on the mind and reduce stress levels, and it helps to balance your blood sugar levels and boost your metabolism – talk about a win/win/win!
5) Higher Dose PEMF Mat: The Infrared PEMF Mat from Higher Dose combines two powerful healing technologies, grounding and infrared. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy emits electromagnetic waves that mimic natural frequencies found in nature, allowing your body to relax. You can use this mat whilst meditating and practicing box breathing or when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious this holiday season, or use it before bed to help improve the quality of your sleep. You can get a discount at checkout with code JENNYH15.