The holidays are a time to celebrate with family & friends.  Office Parties, Family Parties, Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Neighborhood caroling and while all this activity can by “marry and bright” the holidays can also be a time for experiencing lots of stress, which can affect your overall health and wellbeing. 

We understand and want to help you manage your stress in a healthy way. In this blog we will provide you with 6 tips to help you both physically and mentally during the holiday season.

1. Keep Your Mind Calm: Using basic meditation and conscious deep breathing trains your body to stop for a minute and relax, when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  By having less stress and anxiety, your body and mind stay in balance, and decision making becomes easier.  It also helps with coping with stressful situations, allowing them to become second nature.  Mediation does not need to be long, even just a few minutes several times a day can help you calm down and remain focused.

2. Practice Conscious Breathing: The stress of shopping for gifts, finances, and challenging family and friends can all lead to increase in anxiety levels.  When you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed, stop what you are doing and practice conscious breathing.  Take slow breaths through your nose for about 5-7 seconds then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 6-8 seconds.  Repeat several times and as often as necessary.

3.  Stay Hydrated: With all the office and holiday parties during this time of the year, it is easy to consume too much alcohol, which is why it is very important to stay hydrated.  Try to consume a lot of water when you know you will be attending holiday functions or parties.

4.  Get in a Quick Workout: If you are too busy to make it to the gym for your normal workout, or you don’t have time for your favorite workout (running, spin class, CrossFit, etc.), try to make time to fit in a quick workout.  There are many different resources to perform quick workout, some in as little as 10 minutes.  YouTube, the internet, or the vast amounts of workout apps can give you good ideas for quick and effective workouts during the holiday time.  Not only will it help your mental well-being but will help combat weight gain with all the extra holiday cookies, parties, and meals.  

Take a Nap:  If possible, try to take a 20-30-minute nap throughout the holiday time.  These are not meant to be long, deep sleep, just a short nap to relax your mind and body.  Short, light naps help restore alertness, cognitive function and memory, allowing your body to feel refreshed.  It just takes 5-6 minutes of sleep to restore wakefulness, which enhances performance, mood, and leaves you feeling more energized.  

6. Get Organized:  Being and staying organized will help ease your mind and keep your anxiety in check.  One of the main feelings during the holidays is feeling overwhelmed and anxious.  Writing things down in a planner and staying organized, will help to ease your anxiety.  By planning beforehand, you can avoid overbooking or double-booking engagements, keep you on task, and keep you feeling that you are in control of the holidays. Use calendar, planner, or your phones (calendar/reminder/task) functions to keep you organized.

We have all experienced the hectic nature of the holiday season and we know how easy it is to become overwhelmed during this time.  By using some or all the tips that were provided, you can reduce your stress and anxiety, which will allow you to enjoy the holiday season

Happy Holidays from Optimum Physical Therapy and Wellness

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