There’s a lot of temptation during the holidays which wreaks havoc on your hormones. Eating too much rich food, drinking too much or at least more than you should and a hectic schedule at that. Your mind, body and spirit can go on a roller coaster high and low and it doesn’t feel good. Let’s face it, the holidays are not always all happy and bright. It can bring to mind the loss of love ones, traditions, empty nest or put you in the same room as people you don’t get along with.
Strategies to cope are essential, they lower cortisol the stress hormone that will break you down and age you. Here are some that are simple, easy and quick.
- Take a break – even a 5-minute breathing break can make a difference. Do some slow, deep belly breaths whenever you are feeling tense and overwhelmed. Do this as many times as you need to even if you have to escape to the bathroom to do it.
- Make a list and check it twice– this is about trying to remove some of the To Do’s that are making you feel stressed and if you didn’t do them, there are little to no consequences. Writing things down takes the stress off of your mind.
- Hydrate – drink plenty of water, especially before and after any alcoholic beverages. You will be less tempted to eat or drink too much.
- Sleep – a lot of festivities wind people up so drink some calming herbal tea or take calming herbs such as valerian, passion flower, chamomile, hops or kava, take a warm Epsom salt bath or a hot shower, and magnesium to calm yourself and allow a deep, restful sleep to wind down.
- Move and Stretch – when you don’t have time for your regular (or absence of) exercise routine, be sure to walk, move, and stretch to release tension.
- Enjoy and Appreciate – having an attitude of gratitude and showing appreciation can give you more of what you want out of the holidays or any day for that matter. What you focus on grows and what you give you will receive. This can release the hormone oxytocin which builds bonds.
The holidays are not about the gifts and decorations, they are a celebration of life, love, community, family, friends and if you look for the fun, you will find it.