Tame Your Holiday Stress this Year!

The holidays are about celebration. They are a time to reflect and to marvel at the beauty and wonder of the Season.

But for many, that beauty is tarnished by the stress and pressure that accompanies the year’s end. As the days count down, the stress ramps up, and what should be a joyous occasion is suddenly filled with dread and trepidation. In a year that seemingly has brought so few any reason to celebrate, perhaps we just need to shift our focus and bring to light those
things in our life that we can truly count as blessings. Unfortunately, this becomes infinitely harder to do when your vision is clouded by an oppressive shroud of stress.

So this year I am asking you to break free of the horrible bind that stress has on you, and to slow down and enjoy what really matters in life. Here are 6 of my top tips to help you overcome holiday stress.

1. Have a Plan/Set Goals

Nothing creates stress like scrambling around not knowing where you should to be next, what you need to be getting done today, which commitments you are supposed to be honoring, etc. To avoid this needless pressure, take the time to
make a list and set simple goals each day. Put anything on your list, no matter how simple, that you would like to get done that day. This is a powerful motivator and instills a sense of accomplishment when you cross an item off your list. Make sure you are flexible with your lists! If you don’t get everything done, don’t sweat it. Just do your best, and transfer anything that
you didn’t get to onto tomorrow’s list.

2. Slow Down

This seems counter-intuitive during the busy holiday rush, but the irony is that you will actually be more productive by taking time to yourself each day to collect your thoughts, decompress, and recharge. If possible, I recommend first thing in the morning to help set the tone for your day. Take whatever time you can afford, maybe that’s 15 minutes, could be an hour-whatever works for you. Use your time to pray, meditate, listen to inspirational music, read something uplifting, or whatever else inspires you. Visualize your day playing out exactly as you would like. This might seem a little foreign to you at first, but with a little practice, you will begin craving this time.

3. Let Go

Understand that there is so much within your control, and with a little foresight you can help to eliminate much of the stress that would otherwise come your way. But realize, too, that no matter how much you plan, visualize, and exude positivity, there are certain things beyond your realm of influence that you will never be able to control no matter how hard you try. These are the things you need to let go of. Worry is never a good thing, but at least if you are worrying about things within your grasp, you have a chance of overcoming it. Constantly fretting about things that you can’t change is as destructive as it gets. Learn to let it go.

4. Exercise

Yep, you read that right! I know what you’re thinking…”I don’t have time to exercise as it is, let alone during the busy holiday season.” Before you write it off completely, get creative with your time-management and figure out a way to make it work. Multi-task in another area of your life to free up time for exercise. Use your “me” time to get a workout in.  Instead of just listening to your inspirational music, do so while walking on the treadmill. Physical activity is one of the absolute best ways to reduce stress, boost your mood, and foster a positive outlook on life.

5. Know that You are Perfect

You are unique in the world and exactly who you should be. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, and realize that you are what you are and who you are by design. If your house doesn’t look like it should be featured on the cover of a magazine, that’s okay. If your Christmas turkey isn’t as good as your neighbor’s, who cares? Compliment your neighbor on her culinary skills and take comfort in the scope of your own unique talents.

6. Get Adjusted

Coast through the holidays at less than full power? Unthinkable! You simply cannot tackle life as effectively with a depressed nervous system. Eliminating stress from your life, holidays or not, is simply unrealistic. Instead, the answer lies in strengthening the body and enhancing the efficiency of your stress response. Chiropractic adjustments maximize the body’s expression of life and can help to reduce the effects of chronic stress.

There you have it, 6 simple steps that you can put into action today to help you deal with holiday stress and get your focus back on what really matters this holiday season.

Dr. Joe Tsai is a chiropractor and health coach dedicated to helping you live up to your maximum potential. You can contact him directly at drtsai@backtolifechiro.com.