This time of year should be about enjoying yourself with loved ones. Sadly as the holidays approach, unwanted stress and anxieties can tag along too. You’ve got gifts, food, possible family drama and entertaining to think about. Thankfully we’re sharing our favorite preventative stress techniques, so this year you won’t fall victim to the holiday stress monster!
Define stressful triggers
The first step in tackling stress is to identify your triggers. These will be different for everyone. Once these are identified, they become more manageable and less scary. Normal stressful triggers may include sleeping through your alarm, running into unpredictable traffic on the way to work or losing your wallet.
Triggers can show up more frequently during the holiday’s because we feel pressure to buy things, cook a big dinner and spend more time with family. This is why you might feel anxiety or even guilt as the holidays approach. Not to mention people around us are probably feeling this way too, so being around stressed out people might further feed your own negative feelings.
Solution: You can start balancing your triggers by writing down detailed examples of times that instantly put you in a bad mood. Anything from coming home and finding a sink filled with dirty dishes to arguing with roommates. Once these are physically noted, think about what you can do to make these instances less frustrating. Make sure to think in practical terms like “maybe if I do the dishes the night before (prior to binge watching Stranger Things) I won’t come home from work the next day to a pile of disgusting-ness!”.
Once you’ve defined your triggers, challenge yourself to find the root of the problem. Maybe you’re angry at your sister in law for bailing on family dinner. So you hold onto this anger. You then feel small issues build on top of this, causing more and more stress. Something bad happens at work, you get into an argument with your partner and all of a sudden chronic stress builds in your everyday life. Once you establish the root of your anxious/stressed feelings, your stress feels less daunting.
Sometimes our stress can come from a desire to be perfect, low confidence or other personal conflicts. Figure out what it is you need to work on, and the rest will fall into place. Normal, everyday, small stresses are typical, but if you find yourself constantly stressed out, it’s time to become more self aware.
Not to go all high school counselor on you, but everyone needs a way to unwind. Yoga, running and meditation are great options, and if you’re feeling plain burnt out, a 20 minute nap can work wonders. But if you’re at work or unable to break for an exercise class, try going for a 10 minute walk outside, drinking some tea/water, or laughing. Store some hilarious memes on your phone and take a glance when you need a break. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases the production of endorphins. Heck some minor stresses are actually good for your body! In some cases it can actually boost immunity and improve memory. Temporarily forgetting about whatever it is your stressed about is great, patterned feelings of stress are not healthy. Explore why certain situations make you stressed. Do this when you have time and when you’re in a comfortable setting.
prepare your body
The best way to prepare your body for a surprise stress scare, is to take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep and make your own happiness a priority! Our go-to product around this time of year is our PureFood B. It offers a burst of revitalizing B vitamins that give your body a jolt of plant based energy (Its office nickname is brain-fog cleaner!). Combine this with our other tips and you’ve got the recipe for a holiday flourishing machine!
Remember, There’s no such thing as a magic stress be gone pill, no matter what those infomercials say! If you’re suffering from chronic stress, living a healthy lifestyle will definitely help you, but sometimes you can’t do it alone. Talk to your family, friends and medical professionals about your stress.
If you want to read more about how stress, lifestyle choices and nutrition affect your well being, read our free ebook: Mastering Your Metabolism.