Let’s face it, all that holiday togetherness can be stressful. Some people have no family nearby and must travel to get home for the holidays. For others, family may be too nearby! Between office parties, secret Santa, shopping and entertaining, the holiday season can leave us with a snarled knot of tension.
How can we decompress after the season?
- Allow yourself an extra day or two for some quiet time. If you have the vacation time, take a few days off after New Year’s to chill, without any plans. Just allow yourself time to catch up on sleep and put your house back to rights!
- Spend some time playing with your pets. Spending time with animals has been shown to reduce blood pressure and levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. In fact, some airports are now offering therapy animals to reduce the stress of travelers.
- Get your diet back on track. The holidays are a time when we eat out and go to parties often. This means we may have gone off track with our diets, eating a lot of sweets and rich foods, which tend to be high in fat. Alcohol also adds calories and puts a load on the liver. Get back to eating right and begin to feel better quickly.
- Exercise. Getting back into your workout routine as soon as possible after the holidays is a great way to reduce that holiday stress.
- Reach out. The post-holiday season is right in the dead of winter and many older or disabled people don’t have family around and may be in need. Reaching out to ensure they are okay, helping by shoveling their walkways (exercise) and helping them with errands is a great way to stop focusing on your own stress levels and realize how lucky you are!
- Get a massage. Massage has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while improving sleep – just what we need after the busy holidays!
While the holiday season is a lot of fun, it can be very stressful as well. We don’t always have time to relax during the craziness leading up to New Year’s but we can have a plan to destress post-holiday season.
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