Simple Stress Management Tips – Enjoy Your Holidays and Then Some . . .

Simple Stress Management Tips – Enjoy Your Holidays and Then Some . . .

It is commonly accepted that stress can aggravate if not cause physical and emotional symptoms.  A well-meaning friend may advise you to reduce your stress when you are having problems.  There are some ways that we can control the amount of stress in our lives, but there are many ways in which stress will be a part of our lives and is not a matter of conscious choice.

A life with family and friends and the need to earn a livelihood will inevitably have highs and lows – sometimes alternating and other times it seems in clusters.  The Holidays bring with them stress for many of us – more to dos added to an already full list.  For some, the Holidays are stressful because there has been a recent loss, for introverts Holiday gatherings may be almost painful, and for many, interaction with family can result in great joy and present an opportunity for intense conflict.

The key is finding healthy ways to manage your stress rather than trying to make it disappear.  I’m a big believer that wellness is not a one-size fits all endeavor.  Take a look at some of the stress management options below and see which appeal to you, give them a try – keeping in mind that nothing is magic and it may take some amount of establishing a routine to feel the true benefits.

Mindfulness – Focus on the present, finding something calm in the midst of chaos.  It may be simpler than you think and even a few minutes a day can help you at home and at work –

Breathing Techniques – What could be easier than breathing? OK, so we may need to put a bit more thought into how we breathe.  Deep, full breaths that fully inflate the lungs is a key.  Take a look at some of the possibilities – You may find there are physical as well as emotional benefits.

Relaxation Techniques – Add guided imagery and practices such as yoga and tai chi to mindfulness and deep full breathing and you have a good start on some relaxation techniques to choose from.

Movement – Whether your preference is a full-on sweaty intense workout or a walk around the block, getting up and moving can reset your perspective and make it easier to handle stresses that you encounter.

Set Realistic Expectations – Fit in celebrations and traditions that are important to you and your family, but pick and choose to leave room for eating right and getting enough sleep. Making yourself sick won’t make the holidays or any day better for you or anyone in your family.

Although we don’t all follow the same path over the Holidays, it is a tricky time to maintain equilibrium for many.  Have compassion for those you encounter on your journey and you may find that it makes your path that much easier to travel!


Brenda Raymond-Ball
Owner/Business Director, Healthwell Enterprises or