christmasIf your nerves are frazzled, you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in a while, and the “all is calm” line in “Silent Night” makes you roll your eyes, you’ve probably let the holidays get to you … again! It’s not too late to make some changes that could ease your anxiety and put the joy back in the holiday season. Here are a few changes to get you started:

Give of yourself.

As it gets closer to Christmas, you’re probably wracking your brain for the perfect gift for someone special on your list. Instead of wasting your time and what’s left of your peace of mind, why not gift them with something you’re good at like washing their car, doing their taxes or cooking them a delicious meal? It really is the thought that counts!

Lift up your voice.

Remember how good you always feel after Christmas Eve service? Part of the reason could be all the singing, reported a 2013 article in Time. That’s because singing with others releases endorphins, which lift your mood, while oxytocin, another hormone produced when you sing, lowers anxiety levels. If you’re feeling a little stressed as the big day approaches, gather your neighbors for some caroling or your friends and family for a singalong around the piano. We guarantee you’ll feel better in just a few verses!

Color a Christmas tree.

You’ve probably shared crayons with a child at one point or another and found that you really enjoyed it. It’s no wonder! According to a 2017 piece on CNN, coloring causes you to completely focus on what you’re doing, much like meditation, squeezing out all the worry and anxiety in the process. It’ll also make a great activity to share with the grandkids when they’re at your house over the holidays.

Walk it off.

You may feel way too busy to take your daily walk or get to the gym as the holiday approaches, but exercise is one of the best ways to defuse the stress and exhaustion common at this time of year. Keeping your regular exercise routine will also help keep those extra holiday calories from turning into extra pounds.

If all else fails, take a warm bath, practice yoga, or treat yourself to a massage. You’ll feel your blood pressure dropping, your muscles relaxing and your joy of the season returning before you know it!

 

Share how you avoid stress over the holidays.

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