12 Ways To Reduce Stress This Holiday Season


1. EXERCISE

Physical activity is one of the BEST ways to combat stress. It lowers your body’s stress hormones, helps release endorphins, improves your sleep quality, and boosts your confidence. Find an activity you enjoy — whether it’s a spin class or a meditative walk — and make it part of your regular routine. Even if it is 30 minutes a day, it's worth it!


2. REDUCE CAFFEINE INTAKE

I get it - everyone loves a daily cup (or 3) of coffee, chai latte, or tea, I used to be addicted to coffee! But high doses of caffeine can increase anxiety and make you feel jittery or anxious. I'm not suggesting that you cut it out completely...just practice moderation. I promise you’ll see a difference!

3. WRITE IT DOWN

Journaling or writing down your thoughts can help relieve stress and anxiety, especially when you focus on the positive. Try writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful when you wake each day and 3-5 things that went well each evening, and keep a notepad by your bed to “brain dump” anything that’s on your mind before hitting the hay at night.


4. LAUGH

It’s almost impossible to feel stressed when you’re laughing! Laughter can help relieve stress by relaxing your muscles and reducing your stress response. So get together with friends that make you laugh, watch a funny movie, or do something that makes you belly laugh - and feel the stress melt away!


5. CONNECT WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY

Speaking of friends that make you laugh, being part of a group of friends (big or small) can give you a sense of belonging and increase your feelings of self-worth. So even though the holidays are a busy time, make sure to schedule some quality time with your besties and get some well deserved stress relief!


6. LEARN TO SAY NO

While many stressors are out of your control, some are not. One way to take control of the parts of your life that are causing you stress is to say ‘no” more often. Saying “yes” to everything and taking on too much can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Be selective about what you take on, and say “no” to things that you don’t have the time for.


7. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus on yourself, your surroundings, and your actions. It can help combat the anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking, which in turn reduces stress. Try mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, yoga, or meditation when you feel the stress creeping into your life.


8. PET YOUR PET

Believe it or not, pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief, and other health benefits. They can offer love and companionship, enjoy comfortable silences, keep secrets, and are excellent snuggle buddies. Studies show that just being around your pet can reduce your blood pressure. Plus, who can resist their adorable faces?!?!


9. FOR A QUICK FIX, SQUEEZE HERE

The squishy place between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Feeling overwhelmed by the holiday stress? Apply pressure to the hoku spot for 30 seconds to reduce stress and tension in your upper body.


10. AROMATHERAPY

Essential oils may improve a variety of health issues, including anxiety and stress. Lavender, citrus, and bergamot are particularly effective at alleviating both. (Plus, they smell amazing!) Try diffusing a few drops or applying directly to your skin.

* Check out this blog post for the top 10 essential oils to help with Anxiety


11.TURN UP THE TUNES

Feeling stressed? Turn on your favorite music, whether it’s show tunes, classical, or my personal favorite, Taylor Swift. Research shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow...meaning it’s calming, soothing, and good for your heart!


12. WORK WITH A HEALTH COACH

A Health Coach can help you identify what your personal health and wellness issues are, how they affect you, and develop strategies to overcome them. A Health Coach can also help you reduce and manage your stress more effectively by helping you change your mindset and behavior (and by extension, improve your life). Email me at hello@nicoleritterhealth.com or schedule a session here.


To your health and happiness,

Nicole Ritter

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