Four Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

[caption id="attachment_32538" align="aligncenter" width="856"]Feeling overwhelmed this holiday season?  These tips can help. Smelling Citrus Can Reduce Stress[/caption]

For many, the holidays are a time of joy and cheer. But they can also be very stressful. The shopping, the crowds, the money and don’t forget the stress of family gatherings. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel more like the Grinch. But you can beat holiday stress with these simple tips:

  1. Citrus to the Rescue – all that holiday stress can put a strain on your immune system leaving you vulnerable to whatever illness is going around. Give your immune system a boost with vitamin C in the form of oranges, grapefruit and even lemons. Even the scent of citrus can do wonders. Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feeling of wellbeing and help alleviate stress by increasing levels of norepinephrine, a mood-affecting hormone. Try dabbing a small of amount of lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief and keeping it in your pocket.
  2. Just Say “No” – you don’t have to attend every holiday party or event. We tend to focus on pleasing others at the holidays whether by shopping, cooking, sending cards or even trying to be in three places at once. Learn to say “no” to some of these things and take care of yourself. In the long run, it will mean more to your loved ones if you are less stressed.
  3. Unplug – yourself that is. Pinterest can be great for ideas – it can also cause an immense amount of stress if you’re trying to make that Pinterest-perfect holiday recipe or craft. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away from social media for a bit – seeing all the things your friends are doing might only make you feel worse. Not to mention if you’re staying up until the wee hours online, that blue light is known to cause sleep issues.
  4. Rock Out – researchers from the University of Maryland found that listening to your favorite music can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. This calming effect is good for you and your heart. So, whether it’s holiday music or the Top 20 countdown, get your groove on to beat some of that stress.