Are you feeling it?
The pressure, I mean.
You know what I’m talking about. Yes, it’s an amazing and magical time of year, but it also brings with it a ton of expectations.
There’s time pressure, gift-giving pressure, social pressure, and even pressure to make it through the holidays with a smile.
There’s also less sunshine, which can put a real damper on your mood if you’re one of the many people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Plus, some of us feel pressure to make the holidays absolutely perfect for our loved ones, and to recapture the magic we remember from our childhood.
Wow. That’s a lot, right? A few years ago, Healthline surveyed people about their feelings during the holidays… and 62% said they felt “very or somewhat” stressed during their holidays. Only 10% reported no stress.
Researchers found that people reported they were more likely to “behave in sedentary ways like watching TV, sleeping, eating and drinking to manage their stress. Many individuals engage in comfort eating and other unhealthy behaviors to cope with their stress levels.”
Well, I’ve got some other ideas to help turn your mood around – try not to make them added pressure, but as ways to blow off some steam (or avoid the steam altogether)!
Turn on some music and move! A solo dance party will turn cleaning up the kitchen (or cooking, or wrapping gifts, or cleaning the guest room) into less of a chore. Plus, getting your heart rate up helps your body release feel-good hormones that’ll boost your mood.
Get Outside. Take a quick walk outside and enjoy nature – or your neighbor’s decorations. There’s nothing like a change of scenery and fresh air to shift your perspective.
Stay away from social media. If there ever was a time to cut back on your scrolling time, it’s now! When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to compare your situation with that of others. Remember: social media is where people generally show their “perfect” life, not their REAL life.
Give someone a compliment. One of my favorite things to do when I go to the post office or grocery store is to give a total stranger a sincere compliment. I especially love complimenting seniors, because this can be a lonely time of year for many of them.
Distract yourself! Watch a comedy, work out, play a game, or even tackle an unrelated household chore (hello, organized sock drawer).
[Bonus Tip] Breathe. Do 5 minutes of breathing exercises – just sit back and focus on your breath. Feel your belly and chest rise as you breathe in, and sink as you breathe out. This can be an amazing “reset” for your mood because it helps relieve anxiety.
An important note: there’s a difference between stressed and feeling true anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling truly distressed, be sure to check in with your doc. There’s no need to handle all of that by yourself.
What’s your fave way to ward off the holiday stress? Is there anything special you do?
If there is, let me know! I read each and every one of your emails, and always love hearing from you!
PS: Need stress-busting fitness advice? Let’s talk! Book a strategy session with me CLICK HERE