As I go about my days this time of year, baking, shopping, wishing everyone around me a Merry Christmas, there are knots in my stomach. I know this is suppose to be a holiday that revolves around joy, love and peace but for me it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. And I most definitely am not alone in that. Christmas can be emotionally (and financially) draining. There can be a lot of pressure (most of it self induced) to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal. We spread ourselves thin with so much to do and so little time to get it all done. It’s perhaps the one time of the year that we feel obligated to spend time with people, and yes that includes family, that make our blood pressure rise. And we do all of this smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season.
So, if you’re anything like me, and struggle a bit over the holiday, what can you do to try and eliminate, or at least, cope with that stress? Well there are things you can do to help:
Getting up and outside can be great for holiday stress reduction for a couple of reasons. First, just being active reduces stress, makes us feel better and helps us sleep better. And if you can manage to soak up a little sun that can also be beneficial to keeping mild holiday blues at bay.
Get Lots of Sleep
I know that getting enough sleep can be especially hard this time of year. You’ve got holiday gatherings to go to, baking to do, late night wrapping sessions when the kids finally go to bed. Its hard to squeeze it all in and we often sacrifice sleep to do it. But giving up sleep is counter-productive to staying healthy and reducing stress. Do your best to get to bed on time so you can make the most out of your days.
Not to be confused with eat lots! For so many of us food, and often unhealthy food, is around in abundance this time of year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in some holiday treats, just don’t make them your entire diet. Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated to keep your body happy and better able to help you cope with that holiday stress.
Just Say No
Many of us have a tendency to spread ourselves thin this time of year. And there are people who can pull that off with no problem but many of us can’t and need to learn how to say no. I know that can be easier said than done but you can do it! You don’t have to lie or make up elaborate reasons why you can’t attend a party. Simply say “I’m sorry I cant’ make it but I have other plans.” It doesn’t matter if those plans are having a stress reducing bubble bath or chilling on the couch watching a movie with the family.
Change Your Traditions
Just because we do the same thing over and over again each year doesn’t mean we have to. If there is a tradition in the family that you find especially stressful change it. Traditions have to start somewhere right? So it may be time to start your own, less stressful ones.
Make Rules and Share Them
If you’re hosting a gathering and don’t want it to run into the wee hours of the morning (remember the importance of sleep) put and end time on your invitation. Make spending limits for the whole family when it comes to gift giving and/or make rules like only buying for the kids in your extended family. Putting simple, but not too strict rules in place over the holidays can be a great way to help reduce stress. Just make sure everyone knows them!
Ask For Help
Did you volunteer to make the entire Christmas spread and now you’re feeling overwhelmed? Ask your sister, or mother inlaw or whoever to bring dessert. Not only will the not mind, they will probably be grateful for the opportunity to pitch in. Or maybe you just need to sit down with a good friend and vent a bit. Take the time to make that happen. Or if you are really struggling don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out for professional help. Knowing when it’s time to ask for help is not a weakness.
There is no one magic cure for beating holiday stress but if can implement some of these tips you may be able to put a dent in it. For me, taking care of myself physically goes along way to keep my holiday spirits bright. But it can be a struggle. I don’t do too bad with the healthy eating (and I don’t beat myself up for enjoying a few treats) but with so little free time I’ve been really struggling to make it to the gym over the past couple of weeks and I don’t feel great about that. And with a little one that goes to school and daycare, not to mention being out and about in the crowds trying to get my shopping done, it’s impossible to avoid being exposed to bugs. The last thing anyone who already gets stressed over the holidays needs is to get sick on top of it. I do have a couple of tools in my arsenal that I use to give me that extra edge over holidays to stay healthy and keep the stress down.
MagPop is one of the newest products from Orange Naturals. It’s full of Magnesium Glycinate, Vitamin C and Electrolytes to help you maintain a healthy metabolism. It also helps with the development and maintenance of bones and teeth and maintaining proper muscle function. MagPop is an effervescent powder that you just dissolve in a cup of water for a fun, fizzy and tasty drink even the kids will love.
Another go to Orange Naturals supplement that I reach for when I feel, or anticipate that I’m going to feel stressed is the Advanced B-Complex. Vitamin B complexes are often called “stress formulas” because they can really help boost your mood and promote mental relaxation and reduce anxiety.
Why Orange Naturals? Well, first – Orange Naturals is Canadian. Not only do I like to support Canadian brands but there is just a level of confidence in buying from a home grown company that I don’t always have with buying elsewhere. The other thing that I feel really good about when it comes to using Orange Naturals is that Orange Naturals products are developed and designed by a scientific advisory board consisting of Naturopathic Doctors. This is pretty important. Naturopathic Doctors in Canada complete rigorous medical training at accredited educational institutions followed by professional licensing which holds them to national standards of practice.
Whether it’s managing holiday stress, looking for ways to avoid winter bugs or just maintain your overall health, Orange Naturals has something to help. Be sure to stop by the #onatural blog to get lots of great tips and advice for feeling your best and keeping your entire family healthy. You can also find Orange Naturals on Facebook for more information and fun.
Wishing you and your family a joyful and stress free holiday season!
Disclosure: I am part of the Orange Naturals Mom Ambassador Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own