holiday stress woman

The beautiful leaves of October have fallen and it’s time to start thinking about the wonderful holiday season… with the holidays comes all that holiday stress! Yes, this is the time for friends, family and fun, but it is also a time of extremely high stress levels. There are many types of stress: There is good stress… of visiting, sharing and enjoying each other’s company… AND there is bad stress brought on by the added pressure of children’s functions, extra obligations, shopping, decorating, organizing, planning, and dealing with family and friends who are sometimes less than pleasant. Good stress… bad stress… it all ends up in the same stress bucket. When that bucket gets too full, we end up with some challenging physical and emotional symptoms… aches, pains, low energy, brain fog, irritability, lethargy, exhaustion… anything but fun.

The worst thing we can do is just live with it. The best thing we can do is to reach out. Even though we feel there is not enough time in the day, we must make time for ourselves, to recharge our batteries, to put the oxygen mask on ourselves. We need to actively take a break from the hectic pace before our body breaks down from the stress. Colds, flu and other sicknesses are our body’s way of reacting when we have been out of balance.

There are many ways to regain your balance. Some work better than others. We are all different, so try different activities or practices to see what your body and mind respond to. Pick what works for you and do it. Then make a commitment to yourself to schedule time for yourself during this busy season so that you can keep your body running in top shape… so you can actually enjoy yourself.

Recently, I found myself out of balance because of my broken arm. I was expecting it to heal rapidly and it didn’t. There was much to do, so much to catch up on after the recovery period, and I was getting stressed out as a result. Even though I practiced daily meditation and self-hypnosis, I knew I needed more. So, I reached out… I consulted expert wellness professionals and allowed them to work their magic. Voilà! I’m back! My energy returned, my focus improved, I’m sleeping soundly, I feel great, and I’m back on track! AND, I discovered that there was a structural problem that needs to be corrected with more surgery!

A baker’s dozen holiday stress relief recipes:

  1. Mindfulness meditation: Take some time to quiet your mind and relax your body.
  2. Reiki: Treat yourself to a Reiki session and allow the positive energy to flow.
  3. Life Enhancement Classes: Attend one of our classes and refresh your mind.
  4. Acupuncture:  Receive treatments to diffuse the busy mind and energize the body.
  5. Registered Dietitian:  Investigate a nutritional cleanse to diffuse the sugar crazies.
  6. Yoga:  Practice even a few sun salutations to stretch, calm and center the body.
  7. Chiropractic Care: Get an adjustment to release tension in your neck and body.
  8. Massage: Escape with a massage or an Ayurvedic Shirodara treatment – awesome!
  9. Dance: Explore any kind of dance. Even Zumba lets you escape into joyful play.
  10. Pet therapy: If you don’t have a kitten,or puppy, go to a shelter and play with one.
  11. Vitamins: Be sure to take them, especially B for energy and D when sun is limited.
  12. Confide: Talk with a trusted friend, counselor or minister to let off some steam.
  13. SMILE: Find something that gives you joy and DO it.  Just THINKING about it helps.

Pick one or two or more of the above things and DO them. Take time to “sharpen your saw,” to enhance your own physical and mental energy, so that you will be sharp this winter. Remember the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Take the initiative to take care of yourself BEFORE the holiday crazies are upon us and notice what it feels like to really enjoy yourself this season.

If you need any recommendations, there are links to some amazing wellness professionals on my website, or call for a referral to someone who can help you keep that holiday stress under wraps.


Lois Hermann

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.