As we move into November, our thoughts naturally start to turn towards the holidays- a time where we might see more of our family, where we might spend more money on gifts and parties, and where we might experience more stress.
Add to that the time change in the United States, and you have a lot of possible stressors affecting your well–being.
In this article, I’d like to share a few tips for managing your stress over the holidays (and anytime, really.)
Does stress wear you out but you can’t sleep? Stress is one of the biggest sleep stealers there is. Even if you fall asleep, stress can prevent you from entering deep sleep for physical recovery or REM sleep for mental recovery. Experiment with different ways to relieve and release your stress, each day, so that your nightly slumber becomes more peaceful. Getting good quality sleep can go a long way to keeping you healthy both mentally and physically.
If you’re feeling stressed out, consider doing some intense exercise. Not only can high intensity exercise give you an outlet for any pent up anger or stress, but also it will teach you to focus your mind and body. You’ll learn effective ways to manage stress and clear your mind. It’s also a lot of fun and can be a break from the rest of your life.
Try reading a book to relieve some of your pent up stress. Losing yourself in another world, perhaps one of fantasy, or sci-fi or a romance, can be a great way for your mind to go on autopilot for a bit. You’ll be able to focus on the world inside the book, rather than on whatever is stressing you out.
Breathing works wonders for alleviating stress. Take a deep breath, this helps to oxygenate your blood and can help you relax instantly. If you breathe shallowly, it causes your heart to beat faster and your muscles start to get tense. Instead, breathe deeply, inhaling completely through your nose, then exhaling completely through your nose.
If you’re in a stressful situation, before doing anything rash, stop and count to ten. This will give you a moment to relax and cool down. It’ll prevent you from doing something you might regret and instead allow your mind to calm down enough to make rational choices.
Smile your way to being stress free. Smiling shows that you are happy. But did you know that smiling can also make you feel happy and relaxed? When you smile you transmit nerve impulses from your face muscle to the center of the brain that tells you that you are calm. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed take a minute to smile.
A great way to fight stress is to spend some quality time with people you love. If you’re feeling stressed out from the pressures of work, there’s really nothing better than spending some time with people you love in order to recuperate. Focusing on good times with the ones you love will keep stress at bay.
Adjust your vitamins and diet. For example, Vitamin B has been shown to help reduce stress. Minerals such as chromium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, molybdenum, zinc, manganese, and selenium may help you to better deal with stress. Talk to your doctor to see if vitamins could help you.
Now you should have a few new ideas to add to your “stress management” tool kit. Everyone needs to know different techniques to manage stress; because stress is tricky because the same techniques don’t always work all of the time. Try the above tips to see how they can become part of your stress-fighting arsenal, and help you better manage daily stress levels through the holidays and beyond.
If you feel you could benefit from additional strategies to manage stress and lower your anxiety, we can help! Give us a call at (716) 926-6009 or click here to schedule an appointment.