Here Are 4 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Get outside for that Vitamin D.

The holidays are intended to spread cheer, cozy up with family, and maxing and relax while listening to your favorite Christmas carols. But it doesn’t always pan out that way. As we all know, the holidays can often be a highly stressful time of year. Between triggering interactions with extended family who don’t always know how to behave and the three-course meal we may be in charge of, the season to be jolly can be downright stressful. On top of that, there’s gifting, which can cause financial strain. Pair that with the pressure to decorate your home to the tee; it all becomes a bit much. But thankfully, there are some tried and true stress-busting tips for the holiday season.

Here Are 4 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Getting outside

There are so many reasons to get into the great outdoors. Not only does it provide us with Vitamin D, which protects against disease, optimizes physical performance, and combats depression. But the sun also lowers blood pressure which is important during stressful times, in addition to the salty food often served during the holidays. Additionally, being in nature helps with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and generates positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and awe.

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Image: Courtesty of Josh Duke via Unsplash.

Staying active

Holiday foods are infamously unhealthy, so staying active helps burn carbs and calories and also benefits your mood tremendously. You can also use a walk outside as an excuse to escape indoor hecticness. If a brisk walk isn’t available, try an IRL fitness class or search for a free yoga class on YouTube.

Resting

We all know sleep is essential for well-being. But according to board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, there are seven types of rest. We live in a hustle culture where rest is frowned upon, but it’s essential to optimal health. Here are the seven forms of rest.

  • Physical rest” This can look like gentle yoga or Tai Qi exercises. Sleep falls into this category, as well as meditation and massage therapy. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try black-out curtains to prevent light from coming into your space, which features stress-reducing CBG, I-theanine, mind-quieting GABA, and plant allies like skullcap and passion flower to get to sleep quickly.

  • Mental rest: Do you have trouble falling asleep or quieting your mind during meditation? Acts like taking a digital detox (turning off T.V., cell phones, computers, or devices for an extended time) or even scheduling breaks every few hours during the day can be very beneficial for your mental health. Establishing a mindfulness routine is also important. And that doesn’t have to be seated meditation. You can practice mindfulness while cleaning, cooking, taking a walk, and doing any task you can think of!

  • Emotional rest: Let’s be real; life can be emotionally draining. So much is expected of us, yet we’re meant to do it with a smile and a pep. In Dr. Dalton-Smith’s TED Talk, she states, “An emotionally rested person answers the question ‘how are you today?’ with a truthful ‘I’m not ok,’” Meaning they are better at letting their guard down and expressing their feelings and needs. You’re emotionally draining yourself when you suppress emotions and always act like everything is okay when it’s not. Therapy is a great way to deal with and express emotions and find people you trust to be vulnerable with.

  • Spiritual rest: No matter your spiritual or religious beliefs, everyone needs to feel purpose in life, experience love from others, and feel a true sense of belonging. Finding your ‘tribe’ or community of like-minded individuals, establishing a spiritual practice, whether that be prayer, meditation, or rituals that connect you to the divine, and finding ways to volunteer or give back are all forms of spiritual rest.

  • Sensory rest: The amount of information we process daily is probably 10x what our parents and grandparents experienced, and it’s taking a toll on our mental health. We’re experiencing light pollution, sound pollution, and so many other environmental toxins. Hence why it’s important to spend some time in silence to be, not do, not work, just be. We go from one form of sensory stimulation to the next. Try turning off the radio in the car, eating in silence, and opting out of social media scrolling or television for a day to experience the benefits.

  • Creative Rest: The amazing thing about humans is that we’re intrinsically creative in some form or another. Aside from artists, musicians, and poets, we use creativity for many things, including problem-solving and thinking outside the box. According to Dr. Dalton-Smoth, “We experience creative rest whenever we appreciate beauty.”  If you’re feeling a lack of creativity or inspiration, then you may need creative rest. This happens when we experience awe through the beauty of nature, artwork, or music.

  • Social Rest: Whether or not you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we all need social rest. According to Dr. Dalton-Smith, a social rest deficit happens when “we fail to differentiate between those relationships that revive us from those that exhaust us.”  Think of the people that leave you feeling good and energized when you hang out with them and prioritize spending time with them and less time with people who feel like energetic vampires. It’s also okay to say no to invitations to relax at home solo.

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Image: Courtesy of Alekon Pictures via Unsplash.

Trying breathwork

We all know that meditation helps with stress levels. But breathwork takes stress relief to the next level. The benefits of breathwork include balanced blood pressure, more time in deep sleep, reduction of PTSD and feelings of trauma, increased immune system, and release of stress hormones from your body. If you’re new to breathwork, try the Open app, known for its incredible breathwork classes. They also have meditation and movement classes that focus on the mind-body connection.

Adding Magnesium Supplement To Your Diet

Among its most well-documented uses, magnesium is nature’s antidote to stress. It helps to balance hormones, calms the nervous system, and prevents the production of excess cortisol, which helps to keep you relaxed and calm. When the body is stressed, it excretes more magnesium, even though magnesium is essential for the brain to balance its stress response. Using magnesium supplements is a great method of de-stress this holiday.

We prefer Bioptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough because it contains all seven types of magnesium and is an effective supplement for promoting a healthy stress response.

Magnesium Breakthrough has the following advantages:

  • Boosts nervous system health and mental health;
  • promotes a healthy stress response; promotes heart health;
  • improves cognitive function, and promotes healthy metabolism.
  • Promotes restful sleep and a strong immune system

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