Does just thinking about the holidays stress you out?

If so, you are not alone. An American Psychological Associate study shows that stress levels are higher over the holiday seasons for 44 percent of women and 33 percent of men. When asked if they were able to relax over the holidays, only 25 percent of women said yes while 41 percent of men indicated that they do relax.

Worse yet is the study showed that to cope with stress women (41 percent) turned to food as comfort while men opted for a drink (28 percent).

Stop the holiday stress train!

Here are a few secrets when it comes to maintaining your sanity and energy levels before the holidays.

Don’t Indulge in Stress Eating. It’s a vicious cycle. Stress lead to your cortisol hormone going crazy, which promotes even more overeating…leading to scale stress. This is an important time of the year to really stick to your healthy eating regime. Team up with a buddy and keep track of your food plans to keep on track. Or challenge your mate to stick with a plan during the holiday months. You’ll have more energy and feel better, which is the best way to cope with the stresses of the end of the year.

High Energy Exercise Your Stress Away. Moving your body not only keeps you in shape, but also you’ll feel better, lighter and energized – things that help you manage stress.  It doesn’t matter if you play tennis or jog around the block because your body is releasing mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins, hormones that naturally fight stress. High-energy aerobic exercises – running, dancing, spinning –increases your heart rate and helps release those endorphins.
*Just Say OM. This stressful time of the year, turn to yoga, which promotes body/mind balance. Stay for the Yin class (often the last class of the day) for extra stretching and longer meditations. The deep breathing done in any yoga class is a natural stress relief.

Tai One On. Tai Chi is another powerful stress weapon. The series of self-paced, flowing body movements combined with breathing will certainly calm the mind and act as stress relief. An added bonus is you’re also building bone density, lowering blood pressure and boosting your immune system.
*Group Workouts Keep Everyone Sane. If you know the family might bicker when the cousins come to town then don’t just sit around getting into touchy subjects. Organize a family hike or touch football game, which will be fun, invigorating and reduce everyone’s stress levels.

Plan Some Solo Time. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we seldom get a minute to calm down and de-stress. Insist on that quiet time. Meditation or looking inward is a powerful tool that even reduces heart disease and high blood pressure. It can be done on a mat in a quiet room. If your house is hopping, all you need is a pair of shoes and a walking path to get away from it all. Just listening to any kind of music is stress relieving, while getting extra cardio will help you sleep at night. Speaking of which.

Sleep. Getting your proper Zzzzz is a crucial way to stay strong and healthy during stressful times. A well-rested mind knows how to cope. Sadly, most of us don’t get our eight hours during the holiday season due to all the parties and running around. Make sleep your priority for full body repair and stress relief. While the sales are going on buy yourself those amazing sheets and pillowcases. Sleep is one of your most powerful health weapons to fight disease while restoring your body and mind.

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