The holidays can be some of the most stress filled times of the year. But is all the stress necessary? Do you consider that we are probably the ones putting stress on ourselves…..? And if we are putting it on ourselves then we can probably adapt some habits to change that.
(Please do not take that statement as discrediting some of the hard stuff or memories that can make it hard after losing a loved one or loneliness among other things, but I am referring to the stress that comes from over committing, being a say yes to everything person, worrying about others too much vs ourselves, etc.)
Ps….If you are unfamiliar with what stress does to your body check out some of my previous blogs :
To sum them up quickly – stress is not good for us.
Whether it is external or internal. Whether we bring it on ourselves from work or allowing expectations to get to us, to over thinking, to what we eat or drink or surround ourselves with (our environment and lifestyle). All of these things can lead to stress on our body, that in turn can lead to illness through inflammation.
So why would we want to add other types of stress to our potentially already maxed state? It is a time we should be celebrating. Again please don’t mis-read that, as I know some people truly do have a hard time due to lost loved ones or other past instances or even loneliness. However, there are ways we can help ourselves feel better during this time regardless of circumstance. Below are a few of my top ways to do just that.
Top 5 Tips for Keeping Stress Down During the Holidays:
1- Get to sleep around the same time most nights of the week if not all of them.
- Sleep is imperative to our health. More and more studies are becoming available to show this. If we lack the deep sleep our body needs to restore itself then we are waking up in a stressed state. Our days are beginning with a body that is already overwhelmed this then can escalate throughout the day. You can read more about sleep and stress here.
2 – Don’t over commit yourself
- Most of us are guilty of this at some point in our lives. We do not want to let people down. Depending upon what stage you are in it may be a time when you feel you REALLY need to show up and impress certain people….. but does that really matter? Sometimes it might, but others we could be doing ourselves more harm than good. We say yes to everything then we give half of our self to these events if not less instead of choosing a few important ones and giving our all to them.
- Destress solution – Figure out which ones matter most and say yes to those. If they involve people you rarely see or add no value to your current life then feel no need to say yes.
3- Get moving atleast 4 days a week for 30 minutes or more.
- This is MAJOR. Exercise and/or decent movement (meaning getting slightly uncomfortable for 30 or so minutes ) can raise endorphins and serotonin levels which in turn makes us happier. Which makes us feel more accomplished and confident. When we feel this way we tend to make smarter choices aka not over committing.
- Destress Solution- Think of how many hours are in a week. If you tell me you can’t find 2 out of all 168 then you may need to take a step back from everything you are doing and reevaluate. This will only help YOU and in turn benefit others.
4- Start your day with a smoothie vs a heavy breakfast.
- Why is this important?? Well for starters I want you to think of energy. Your digestive system uses ALOT of energy. When we eat a heavy meal we tend to get tired after…. the reason?? Our digestive system! If it is using up so much of our energy to work and then we need that energy and have not done anything to restore it then here we go again adding a stress to our body. If you are already stressed then you don’t want to add to it!
- Destress Solution – Buy a vegan protein powder or one that is all natural and not Whey (aka dairy that can cause distress on the digestive system) add some frozen fruit and veggies and a healthy fat like almond butter or coconut oil, blend and drink. Smoothies are already a liquid so theyre easy to digest.) (Say hello to being more productive!
- Here is my favorite brand of protein powder that I use every day – Equilibrium Nutrition.
- This should go without saying. Being dehydrated only zaps your energy, your focus, your ability to get things done and on top of that messes with metabolism and immune function. All of this can make you more susceptible to illness.
- Destress Solution – Drink up! Start your day with water (room temp as it is more absorbable that way) a splash of lemon or lime and some sea salt. Chug it before you drink ANYTHING else especially coffee. This helps get your cells hydrated and immune system and digestive system moving. You can also try something like LIQUID IV that I use daily to help with hydration.
- You can read more on hydration here.
So many things can add stress to our life and we may not even know it. The biggest take away I want you all to get from this is that you should focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled this time of year. Hopefully that means being with those you care about and love. This can also mean finding someone to love on or help during this time. Find volunteer opportunities near you, this can help you become more fulfilled in so many ways.
Do you have any tips or tricks you do to keep stress down? I would love to hear them! Comment or share and tag me @candicecfitness. You never know who you may be helping!
I hope you have a happy holiday this year and look forward to seeing you in 2020!
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