While this holiday season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it’s also the pioneer of holiday stress for many. The assortment of dinner planning, family gatherings, and gift shopping tend to provoke a looming sense of dread and psychological stress. For most of us, dealing with this emotional reaction turns into a calorie overload for comfort and stress relief. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes you feel even worse. Here are some easy ways to dial it back- without the extra calories, during this ultra busy season.
Breathe it out: When we get stressed, we tend to breathe very shallowly or hold our breath. Deep breaths increase your oxygen intake and create a sense of calm.
Step outside: Taking a walk can increase your levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain deal with stress. Doing light activity outdoors has been shown to great boost a person's mood and energy.
Do not over do it: Do not over commit, over spend, over eat, over stay, over drink, etc. Paying attention to your body will help you stay true to yourself. Take a walk, do yoga, or go for a run.
Set aside some time for yourself every day: This is a big one, especially if you’re the type who has to do everything. Spend a little time each day relaxing and enjoying yourself, without thinking about your to-do list. You could read a book, take a bath, or even just take a nap. If you haven’t had time to watch TV for a while, allow yourself one program. If a few minutes of quiet time at home doesn't do the trick, buy yourself a holiday gift.
Be smart with holiday eating in general: This year, plan ahead by being aware of your triggers, do what you can to have some healthy food at hand for each meal, be aware of your intake, and practice mindful eating.
The holidays are meant to be a fun, joyful time shared with friends and family. With a little planning and a few minor but significant changes, this holiday season can bring the love and joy it was meant to bring, and leave you feeling fulfilled rather than drained.
Derived from Health.com
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