As the holiday season quickly approaches and with all the parties, year-end deadlines and family time this period can be very stressful for many people. This stress has a negative impact on your mind and body potentially leading to difficulty sleeping, headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain.
So what can you to relieve tension and decrease stress during the busy holiday season?
1. Stop and breathe- You may not even realize that you are not breathing enough during the day. Not breathing enough has been associated with anxiety and depression and overall joint pain. Try taking in a deep breath, holding it for 3 seconds and then counting to 10 as you slowly exhale.
2. Exercise - Your mind and body will thank you. Any form of cardiovascular exercise will get the blood pumping and endorphins up so not only will you feel better but you will be better equipped to cope with holiday stress. As an added bonus you can help burn off those calories from all the holiday treats.
3. Stretch- Stretching your chest, neck, shoulder and leg muscles throughout the day will have your muscles feeling better and can help prevent headaches, neck and back pain. Remember to focus on your breath while stretching and use exhalations to help you go deeper into a stretch. Stretching can also help to promote better sleep which will leave you better able to cope with holiday stress.
4. Treat yourself - Take an hour out of the busy holiday season to get a massage or see a manual osteopath. This is an extremely effective way to reduce stress. Massage and osteopathy have both been shown to reduce cortisol levels [stress hormone] and increase endorphins [feel good hormones]. Plus you can buy gift certificates for everyone on your shopping list taking away the stress of present shopping. You can also slowly massage your temples using a circular motion to help relieve some tension.