Stress Busting Tips for A Happy Thanksgiving!November 24, 2014
This week officially kicks of the time of year where we either enjoy ourselves, or allow stress to get the best of us.
Thanksgiving Day is this Thursday, and for all the traditions behind it, this day can bring much anxiety, angst and stress for many.
Stress is an everyday occurrence, and our bodies are made to withstand a certain amount of it. However, with the daily demands of life, the added stress of the holiday’s can gently, unexpectedly, erratically push us towards our tipping point. If I am totally honest and look at myself, I am not a person you wish to be around when I have reached my tipping point.
If we are not careful, the following behaviors can rear their ugly heads:
- Sadness and depression
- Total overwhelm
Whether you are spending Thanksgiving with others or alone, the following stress busting steps can help ensure a peaceful, happy week and day.
Laugh — Developing your funny bone can help increase circulation, stimulate lymph movement, and give your immune system a boost. A good, strong laugh also brings more oxygen to your body and brain, which makes you feel more healthy and energetic.
Exercise — Studies show an exercise routine can help combat stress—and ward off depression as a result of the release of endorphins, a natural feel-good chemical. In addition, your confidence builds as you exercise more and achieve mastery at a sport. Some kinds of exercise can also put you in a meditative state, a natural foe of stress.
Breathe Deeply — Learning to use your breath in times of stress has shown to be impactful on physical health as well as mood. In fact, those who meditate have lower blood pressure, increased circulation, and tend to be happier. When you start to recognize you are reaching your tipping point, excuse yourself, find somewhere quiet and breath. Consider adopting a daily meditation practice that can transform an ingrained stress response into a calm, measured reaction.
Reach Out — Making sure your life involves some measure of community helps buffer you from stress. When you feel anxious your tendency might be to close yourself off from others, but by doing the exact opposite you will replace a despondent mood with a fulfilling experience! Pick up the phone and call a friend. On Thursday find someone to sit down with and have a light hearted conversation, or engage the group in a game. If you know someone is alone on Thanksgiving, take the time to reach out to them.
Delegate — Give yourself permission to delegate items on your to-do list to others. That way, you leave more time to focus on what matters most to you. If you are cooking the meal in your home, accept offers of help. If you are traveling to another home, pick up the phone and ask how you may offer to help them. So many of us (women) want to do it all, and instead we become worn out hostesses or guests. We are not superwoman, though we sure would like to be. Delegate, delegate, delegate and ENJOY this time!
Get Out in Nature — As a society, we spend way too much time indoors. We need to get outside more and experience mother nature. Take your shoes off and spend 10-15 min. walking around outside barefoot connecting with the earth. The grounding energy found in nature can help you move out of your head and into your body for an almost instant sense of calm.
Schedule a Massage — Tension often lodges in the muscles in your neck, back, and other areas of your body, so splurge on the occasional massage for a release and an hour dedicated solely to your relaxation! You know yourself, decide if you need to do this before or after Thanksgiving Day.
Most of all, as we make our way towards Thursday, take a moment to count your blessings and be grateful and thankful for all of them. Oh, and while you are there, don’t start comparing yourself to others…...that just adds unneeded stress!
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