How to Have Your Best (Less Stressed!) Holidays Ever

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Do you have your to-do list ready?
How about your shopping list?
And don’t forget about the gift list!

Don’t you wish Santa could just check all of those things off for you?   
Oh wait – eventually, he will.  But maybe not without stress! 

The holidays can be a beautiful, exciting time of year where we celebrate with friends and family, watch our kids have the time of their lives, and eat decadent food to our heart’s desire. 

They can also be filled with anxiety, stress, financial concerns, sleepless nights, extra work, cooler weather, less daylight and utter exhaustion trying to do it all. Which only leads to feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.  So much for happy holidays? 

This year, consider our following tips for a less stressful holiday season!

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Darn those jewelry commercials, Pinterest boards, and Instagram pictures!  They get us every time! The perfect setting, the perfect moment, the perfect life.

And we can sometimes overdo it trying to strive to make our lives that perfect.  The kids should look cute in new pajamas for pictures when opening presents.  The tree should be gracefully decorated in front of the best window.  The dinner table should glow with candlelight as you dine – right after your spouse takes you aside to present you with a beautiful, thoughtful gift.

This all sounds wonderful – but in the end, what happens when the kids spill orange juice on their new pajamas, the tree starts to dry up the week before your party, and your spouse goes about his/her daily business without recognizing the effort you’ve put into it all?

We can become disappointed.

Take the stress off of your holidays by letting go (and maybe lowering!) some of your expectations for the season.

Do this by…

– considering what you are thankful for
– writing down what really matters to you on the holidays
– talk with your family about what you want your holidays to look like
– ask your family what they want their holidays to look like
– plan activities that don’t put too much pressure on you
– ask for what you want!  Yes, even if it takes out the romance.

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Just one more gift for the kids, right?

It’s just a small dinner party, it will be easy!

Ok, we will go for just a little bit and then head home.

How many times have you said any of these things and then felt the stress on your shoulders the moment they came out of your mouth?

This year, it’s time to simplify!

This means:

– say no to extra events or obligations that aren’t fulfilling
– discuss purchasing less presents and instead do something fun together
– plan out your calendar and don’t add anything extra once it’s done

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It seems a good idea to put a little extra effort in your morning workout when you know you’ll indulge in an evening party.

However, if you know you’ll be running around the rest of the day, cleaning, grocery shopping, and oh! what about that hostess gift you need to find!, then you may want to rethink those extra push-ups.

During this busy time of year, it’s important that we listen to our bodies.  This is key to not letting stress get to us and for us to stay healthy.

Do this by staying in the moment, being mindful of what our bodies need, and giving it the nourishment such as…

– time alone
– time together with just your spouse
– an evening to rest
– a good run
– a calming yoga session
– an 8-10 minute meditation time-out
– vegetable soup
– a walk in the snow 
a massage
an acupuncture session

You may want to know that walking can be the most beneficial activity for your body when feeling stressed.  This type of exercise lowers cortisol fastest and helps clear the mind!

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We know you want that cookie!

With all the goodies and rich foods we are served at the holidays, it’s no wonder we fear for the extra weight we may gain by indulging.

However, you may want to rethink your perspective on holiday weight gain.

Because stress increases cortisol, and cortisol stores fat, stress can actually play a major role in weight gain throughout the season.

Can you believe it?!

This means that yes, it’s okay to have that cookie every once in a while – enjoy and have fun! Just be mindful that you aren’t eating it to calm your nerves or reduce your stress.

Make sure…

– you get plenty of sleep
– you stick to a movement schedule that does not add extra stress
– take supplements such as:

Integrative Therapuetics® Cortisol Manager™
– Integrative Therapuetics® Lavella WS 126™
– NeuroCalm™ by Designs for Health®

to support your nervous system and reduce cortisol, and keep stress in check.

All of these tips lead to one thing…

Keeping it real.  You don’t have to put pressure on yourself to make it over-the-top or to out- do someone else, just be you and enjoy the holidays with less stress – even if that means they aren’t perfect.

If you find stress creeping up on you this holiday season and live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area, please contact us for an acupuncture or massage appointment or even a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves at (303) 688-6698 or click here.

It’s time to bring the happy back to the holidays!

Posted in Acupuncture, blog, Functional Medicine, Natural Medicine, Natural Remedies, Self Care, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , ,

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