My Top Seven Holistic Stress Relief Techniques for the Holiday Season

Nativity_tree2011Whether or not you are going through a difficult life change at the moment, the holidays can be stressful. With family events, presents to buy, and parties to host, it can seem like there is too much to do in just one month’s time. This leaves many women feeling stressed out, either about their finances, about how long it takes to plan the family Christmas dinner, or just about hosting and spending time with family members who you might very well love, but can also be a negative influence in your life.

A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs. Joan Welsh

Some women may turn to pharmaceutical solutions to help combat the stress of the holiday season, but there are many holistic treatments that can be used instead to reduce the stress of the holidays. Here are seven of the best non-pharmaceutical, holistic stress relief techniques.

  1. Nutrition – What you eat has a huge effect on your body. If you are eating foods that cause your body stress (as they are hard to process, do not contain the nutrition that your body needs, or are just downright bad for you), your body will be less able to handle all of the other stress that is coming into your life. On the other hand, if you eat natural, holistic foods (plenty of organic vegetables, protein, and fruit), your body will be less stressed and better able to handle other sources of anxiety.
  1. Walking – While just about any kind of exercise is great for your body, walking is especially good for stress relief. Why? Because it gets your heart rate up without putting undue strain on your body. Running, boxing, and other high impact exercises can put too much extra strain on your system, but walking allows you to get the exercise you need, take advantage of exercise’s stress relieving benefits, without encountering any of the negatives. When you fell yourself getting stressed, it is a good idea to throw on your coat and take a walk around the neighborhood, giving your body some time to process what’s going on.
  1. Money Management – The holidays can bring any financial troubles to the forefront. You want to get the best presents for you loved ones and you want to throw the best parties, but both of those endeavors require money. If you are short on money, this can cause anxiety. Making sure you have a handle on your money management is a great way to control exactly how much you spend. Most people save for the holiday season throughout the entire year, but as unexpected expenses crop up, it can be difficult to keep that money set aside. As much as possible, make sure you know where your money is going, at ALL time during the year, and even more so during the holiday season.
  1. Time Management – Nothing can be more stressful than feeling that you do not have enough time to complete all of the tasks that you need to do. What this means is that you have too many to-do’s on your list. You need to cut back or risk facing holiday burnout.
  1. Homemade Gifts – If you love making crafts, there can be something particularly relaxing about creating homemade gifts, instead of just going out and pulling something off of the shelves. Plus, it can cost far less to make your loved ones something special, rather than to purchase something. They will appreciate not only the beautiful gift, but the time and effort you put into making it.
  1. Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy can be seriously helpful when it comes to managing holiday stress. It’s not just about having a pleasant-smelling candle burning while you complete your chores, it’s about finding a scent that really calms the body. As soon as you smell that scent, you will feel more relaxed, even if nothing else in your situation has substantively changed. Some of the most common relaxing oils include peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile.
  1. Holiday Stress Support – Don’t let the stress of the holidays overtake and overwhelm you! If you need support, you can find it, either in person or online. There are online support clubs for those who find this time especially difficult, whether it be because of a job loss, a death of a loved one, debt, etc. This support clubs can help you gain perspective so that  you enter the new year feeling positive, optimistic, and balanced.

Now it’s YOUR turn.  Please tell us:

1.  What is your major source of holiday stress right now?

2. Which one(s) of the holistic stress relief strategies above would work best for you?

About Darlene

Darlene is passionate and enthusiastic about helping women simplify their lives, develop stress resilience, regain balance, and find happiness, despite the personal storms life throws at them. She has published a popular series of stress management books which focus on simple, practical and healthy stress relief strategies, as well as provide FREE resources and services that help women become more stress-resilient.

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