This time of year we all seem to hold our loved ones a little closer and hopefully you’ll stop for a few minutes out of the busyness of the season to play a game with your kids or spouse and just sit by the fire and have a conversation (without any mobile devices in your hands).
As you are hustling around to find the perfect gifts, fill out Christmas cards, or bake yummy foods try not to put your health on the back-burner. I know how stressful this time of year can feel with so many things to accomplish in so little time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can say “no” to stress and no longer agree or allow the damaging affect it’s brings. So when you feel your stress level rising, here is what Nathan and I do! Try these out and share with us how it works for you.
5 Tips to De-Stress Your Holidays
1. Breathe Deep and Pray
We’ve all heard to count to 10 and breathe when you feel like you’re going to blow a gasket. But have you ever actually tried it? As soon as you start to hit “frantic mode” (you know, the moment right before you have an all out melt-down), go somewhere quiet for 3 minutes, breath, and pray. It doesn’t change your problem, work load, or reality, but it will calm you enough to possibly change your perspective.
2. Reset Your Perspective
I’ve been telling myself a lot lately when things don’t go as planned that as bad as this seems, “This is still a 1st World problem.” You know what I mean? We get so “out of sorts” over things that truly are “1st world problems.” Even something like mice in your van is a 1st world problem because at least we have a van!! (read about our mice adventure if you want a good giggle!). When I need perspective change, I don’t just think about all the kids in Africa who are starving and therefore I should be thankful (although that’s true). I actually stop and think about how loved I am…ultimately by my heavenly Father. I don’t know what your faith or beliefs are, but I know we wouldn’t have made it through the loss of our son, as well as just daily life and stress without Jesus. I’ve learned that nothing is impossible with Him. When I place all stress and my situation in His hands, I walk away lighter, fully loved, and confident. Perspective changes things.
3. Supply Additional Nutrients
Did you know that vitamins B and C protect your body from stress? But they are also used up quickly under stress (because they’re doing their job of protecting). If you aren’t supplying additional B, C, and other vitamins, minerals, and even protein during stressful times, you will quickly end up depleted, sick, and, if you’re like me, you’ll end up with a big, fat migraine headache!
The easiest thing to do is take Shaklee Vitalizer for Men or Women or at minimum get Shaklee Vitalea (our basic multivitamin) and add a bottle of B-Complex and Sustained Release Vitamin C. That combo will last you a couple months, costs cents per day, and will help your body manage and handle stress far better over the holidays!
4. Turn Off the TV
You’re not alone if you think that flipping on the Tube in the evening after a long day will relax you. But studies show it does the EXACT opposite. Late night television stimulates the brain, causing you to sleep worse and be restless.
Instead of TV in the evenings this holiday season, resist the urge to grab the clicker and grab a good book. Or if you don’t like to read, lay in bed or on the couch, close your eyes, and listen to an audio book. Reading for just 10 minutes a day will help you finish 3 books a month. That’s 36 books a year!!!
5. BURST, Baby, BURST!
One of my favorite “de-stressing” secrets is short bursts of exercise. When you’ve been staring at the computer far too long, are up early in the morning and aren’t sure you’ll make it through the day, or feel like the you’re in the middle of Family Circus with your kids running around the house screaming, stop and BURST. I’m serious. You will feel like a million bucks!!
Stand in place and do Stationary Sprints for 20 seconds. Then catch your breath. Then bust out a set of push-ups (yes, doing them on your knees is totally fine!) for 20 seconds as hard as you can. After you catch your breath, do one more set of Sprints in place. Your kids will laugh at you, your co-workers may disown you, and your spouse may roll their eyes at you. But hey, who cares? You’ll be feeling great again so who cares what they think!!
I’ve been spending lots of time lately at the library or Books A Million working on my new book that releases soon. In between bouts of writing, guess what I do? You got it! BURST! But here’s the secret in a public place – not being seen (and maybe I shouldn’t care). But I’ve found the perfect location…the bathroom. I go in (and make sure no one is there) then claim the largest bathroom. Then it’s BURST time. I do a set of Stationary Sprints, Monkey Jumps, and Bicep Curl Squat. 🙂
I know “bursting” in the bathroom can be taken a VERY wrong way, but get your mind out of the gutter. I was exercising people! Who cares what anyone thinks as you exit the bathroom panting and sweaty from your workout! I feel much better, my brain is clear, and stress…what’s that?
What are some tips that you use during the holidays to de-stress? Share them below! And please, oh, please…SOMEBODY share with me if you do a set of BURST exercises in a bathroom (I know that sounds terrible. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. When you sit for hours, you start to not care anymore what anyone thinks and start to care more about how your body is feeling at the moment!).
Or am I the only crazy one?