The holidays are here again – that most wonderful time of the year. But for a lot of people, the closer they get to the actual day, the less wonderful it becomes. Honestly, with all the decorating, gift buying, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, school programs, holiday parties and visits from guests, is it any wonder that the holidays can be more stressful than joyful? However, by following the tips below, you can reduce or manage your stress levels this holiday season.
- Smile. That old saying “grin and bear it” actually can reduce our stress levels and improve our heart function, according to studies. So lighten your spirits by watching holiday movies or listening to Christmas music. If that doesn’t work, listen to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I betcha that will put a smile on your face and make you feel like dancing, too.
- Don’t procrastinate. When you wait until the last minutes to do things on your holiday to-do list, you’ll feel pressed for time and more stressed.
- Get help with tasks. Hire people to do more time-consuming tasks like cleaning the house, decorating, cooking or even shopping. Even small children can help put stamps on the Christmas card envelopes or bows on gifts.
- Set limits. If buying for everyone is too much to take on, draw names or set a dollar limit.
- Just say “no.” Don’t overcommit yourself. If there’s something you don’t have the time to do or just don’t want to do, then just say “no.” Doing something you don’t want to do will not only make you feel stressed, but also resentful. And that’s not what the holidays are all about.
- Lower your expectations. Our holiday experiences are seldom like a Hallmark movie, all perfect and rosy. When you expect things to happen a certain way and they don’t, you only end up feeling disappointed and stressed. So lower your expectations and go with the flow.
- Make shopping easier. Do your shopping online to keep from driving all over town. Or decide to buy all your gifts from only a couple stores. Or buy multiples of certain items like sweaters for everyone.
- Give your time, talents or treasures. Do something nice for someone else this holiday season. You’ll feel better that you’re doing something worthwhile for others in your community.
- Look for free holiday activities to do if money is tight. Go to a community tree lighting event, drive around and look at the holiday displays and lights, or go to free concerts at area schools or churches.
- Makes food preparation easier. If it’s too much to try to take on all the cooking and baking yourself, ask others to bring a dish to share. Or have a cookie swap with friends that way you’ll come with a variety.
- Get moving. While we tend to put off exercising when we’re busy, you need to make sure you get some physical activity into your day – even just walking around your neighborhood can increase your heart rate and lighten your mood.
- Take time off for yourself. Carve out time in your schedule to do something that will relax and refresh you like getting a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage. Or, just take 20 to 30 minutes a day to have a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa and read a chapter from a good book.
- Breathe. Whenever you feel tense or anxious, take a few minutes to take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, hold for a couple seconds and slowly release through your mouth.
- Get plenty of sleep. When you’re busy, you have the tendency to stay up later and get up earlier to get things done. But the lack of sleep will only make you feel tired, cranky and tense.
Relieve Foot Stress and Strain with ezWalker® Custom Orthotics
If you’re overdoing it this holiday season, you may experience pain in your feet, knees, legs, hips and lower back. For pain relief, you can:
- Apply ice to reduce any swelling.
- Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes in a basin of warm water and Epsom salts.
- Get massage. Or apply gentle pressure to any sore areas.
- Wear ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. These custom orthotics help decrease the stress and strain on your feet which reduces the stress and strain on your knees, legs, hips and lower back. When the arches of your feet are properly supported and your feet are properly aligned, then the rest of your body is correctly supported and aligned.
If these tips don’t help reduce your foot pain, see a certified foot professional for a proper evaluation of your feet.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®