5 Simple Ways to Find Stress Relief this Holiday

Very stressed woman

This time of year is stressful for many reasons. Two major holidays in one month is a lot to handle, especially when family get-togethers, food, baking, and presents are involved. In addition, a new year is starting and with that comes the pressure to make resolutions and get healthy. Plus, the kids are home from school and cold weather can make a lot of people stir-crazy. Add all of those things together and most of us have stress levels that are at least slightly elevated.

So, how about some tips to help us relieve some of that stress?

Here are five ways to help you lower your stress level:

    1. Put it into words: Tell someone about what’s stressing you out. Call a friend, tell your spouse, talk to your dog, or just talk to yourself! The important thing is to vocalize your list of stressors. Sometimes just the simple act of saying them out loud will help you realize how important or trivial something is.
    2. Prioritize need vs. want: There are a lot of things we WANT to get done over the holidays, but in reality there are usually only a few things that NEED to get done. Focus on those first, and then address your wants if there is time. You don’t have to do everything.
    3. Let go of perfectionism: Come to terms with the fact that everything is not going to be perfect. Making something “good” or reaching a compromise is totally normal. Everything will still be enjoyed or appreciated. Removing the added pressure that comes with perfectionism will instantly lower your stress levels!
    4. Take time to recharge: Find your escape and make time for it daily. Whether it’s writing, reading, walking, sweating, taking a bath, listening to music, etc…make a little time for something you enjoy each day. Schedule short breaks into your day to do something fun! You may be surprised how much better you will feel after a good, quick workout!
    5. Pay it forward: No matter how stressed you are, putting a smile on someone else’s face is an instant stress reliever! Even on your worst day, I promise you’re not the only one struggling. Buy coffee for a stranger in line at the drive thru, make a donation to charity, tell someone they look beautiful…Make someone else’s day and it will make yours that much better!

I hope these tips help you have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season and a great start to 2013!

What’s your favorite way to relieve stress?


Photo credit: tankgirls

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Lindsay is Registered Dietitian and writes about food and fitness at The Lean Green Bean. She shares healthy recipes, fun workouts, and snapshots of her life. She lives with her husband in Ohio and enjoys traveling and spending time outside with her dogs.