Manage Your Stress This Holiday Season

Deb Brown, NCSA Certified Personal Trainer

This time of year is always so fun and festive! There are presents to buy, parties to attend, special meals to make – all in the name of celebration. It can also be a time of high stress. One of the hot topics my clients bring up every December is how to manage their stress levels. So, I thought I would share some tried and true techniques that will help you to coast through this December feeling calm, peaceful and healthy:

  1. Take time to plan. Sit down with your calendar, look at the schedule and determine where you need to be and when. Plan in some down time for relaxation. Schedule time to cook some healthy meals. Avoid over committing.
  2. Keep up your physical activity! In addition to staving off unwanted extra pounds, consistent exercise will keep your stress under control and you will just feel better. It will also help to boost your energy and immune system! Plan your exercise into your day/week just like you would any other appointment – put it on your calendar.
  3. Be aware of what and how much you are eating. Keep a food journal for yourself so that you can balance out those higher calorie holiday treats with lighter fare. You can also make sure you are eating for optimal energy.
  4. Set realistic expectations of yourself. You actually DON’T have to get to every party, get the perfect present for everyone on your list or donate to every charity. Think you will lose 5 pounds in December? Think again. We always coach our clients to just maintain a stable weight from mid-December to January 2nd. Many times, the unrealistic expectations we have of ourselves and our family members create nothing but stress and frustration. Release the expectation.
  5. Incorporate active stress reduction techniques. Do some yoga, drink herbal tea, treat yourself to a massage, meditate or just practice general breathing exercises. Get enough sleep!
  6. Have fun! Make sure you are enjoying your holiday rituals and traditions. If not, spend your time on those activities that bring you peace and joy!

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