Happy Holidays and Happy Solstice to you! I wanted to share this as I know how stressful the holiday season can be for many of us! Love and Blessings to you all during this time!
The Holiday season can be a joyous time of year and this season can also be tremendously stressful. Mass consciousness is busy making holiday treats and meals, decorating, shopping for (or creating) gifts, attending holiday parties, etc. while at the same time maintaining and living already full lives, working fulltime to pay the bills and provide for family, raising children, taking care of other family members, cooking meals, doing chores, keeping in touch with friends and family. Hopefully, by the end of the day, there is 10-20 minutes of down time before going to bed, only to get back up tomorrow to repeat the same all over again.
Many folks don’t take the time to acknowledge the extra stressors during the holidays.
Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. Because of the extra tasks, lists, and demands during the holidays, our brains’ prefrontal cortex may go into overdrive. The prefrontal cortex is related to our executive functioning abilities (planning, organizing, making decisions, being attentive, managing time, remembering details and shifting focus). On top of the extra demands of the holidays, this time can remind people of unresolved things in life, losses, or other emotional stressors.
With increased stress, physical symptoms in our bodies may increase, such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, general aches and pains, colds/infections, increased anxiety or depression. Luckily, holiday stress is short-term and is mostly gone after the new year, until next year’s holiday season.
Here are a few tips to help you make it through the holidays this year with a little more ease:
- Exercise! Go for a walk outside, dance, work-out. This increases the oxygen to your brain, helps your memory, decision-making, and planning skills.
- Eat healthy foods! I know this is a time of lots of yummy treats, AND make sure to add greens, other veggies and good proteins and good fats like avocado and nuts to your diet, while you’re eating the holiday cookies, cakes, and pies. Your body and brain needs the good nutrition to function optimally.
- Take 20-30 minutes to be still…do yoga, meditate, sit quietly, write, create art, listen to soothing music. This gives your body and brain a little down time to clear your mind.
- Stay connected with people (and animals!) you love and trust. And, set aside your differences with them.
- Have fun! Do some of the above mentioned activities with others too and keep it fun! Dopamine is released in our brains when we have fun which makes us feel good and remember better.
- Make a choice to let go of things that you can’t control. Focusing on what you can’t control creates un-needed worries that can ruminate in our minds and increase the stress in your body.
- Realize that you can only do your best and that is good enough for right now.
- Acknowledge your extra stress and get help from others if/when needed.
Blessings of Holiday Ease to you and your Family!