How to De-Stress for the Holidays

We are getting close to one of the happiest times of the year – at least, that’s what it’s supposed to be, right? We put so much pressure on the holidays: buy the perfect gifts, make the perfect meal, find the right outfit. Between family drama, being able to afford buying everyone gifts and traveling during the mad rush that is the holidays, it’s amazing that we still refer to this time of year as one of the happiest. People get stressed out more during the holidays than any other time and we’ve decided to put together a few tips to help keep the Holidays happy. If you find yourself in a moment of stress this year, try one of these tips to pull yourself together and de-stress.

Get Some Sunlight

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing where people are depressed or less happy with the seasonal changes. In Winter it seems like we never see the light of day – with the time change and shorter days, sometimes we really don’t see the light of day. Do yourself a favor and step outside on your lunch break or open your shades for a little light during the day to help fight the bad moods that constant darkness tends to bring.

Smell some Citrus (really)

Research shows that the smell of citrus causes higher levels of norepinephrine, which is a hormone that affects mood. By smelling citrus you can help to boost feelings of well being and alleviate stress. For an on-the-go calm, put a little lemon or orange oil on a handkerchief and tuck it away in your purse – you never know when the stress might hit.

Say “NO” 

We tend to think the holidays are about everyone else. We try to please our family, our friends, our coworkers, basically anyone. The stress of trying (and most likely failing) to please everyone is more than anyone can handle. So rather than try to make everyone happy, try and make yourself happy at least a few times this holiday season by exercising your right to say no. Over programming and doing favors for people can really take its toll – so just remember that sometimes it’s ok to say no.

Research shows that laughing reduces stress hormones and helps your immune system function better. So on top of having a good time, a little laughter can also keep away the colds and holiday depression.

A Change of Scenery 

Is your family one of those families where the holidays bring out the worst in everyone? If you’re constantly fighting at the dinner table or around the television to watch the big game, consider taking these events to a public venue. A holiday dinner in a restaurant or a family event before or after dinner in a public setting can reduce the tension (hello, you’re in public, would they really be crazy in public).

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