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Reduce Holiday Stress

9 steps to reducing stress during the holidays

· stress,holidays,counseling

The holidays are fast approaching and for many they are a source of stress. There is increasing pressure to get everything done. There's shopping to be done, entertainment to organize, and travel to plan. We are bombarded with ads to spend, spend, spend. We expect peace and harmony from family members and this may not always be the case. Some may feel lonely because there is an absence of family. We have high expectations of the holidays. Crowded shopping malls and highways as well as too many parties to attend can be another source of stress. All of the extra activities can leave you exhausted and feeling that it is all just too much!

Here are a few tips on getting through the holidays:

1. Meditate - just a few minutes a day can relieve stress. Use calming thoughts and positive affirmations.

2. Be present - focus on the here and now using all of your senses. Notice the breeze on your face, the feel of your feet on the ground, the sound of a clock ticking, the smell of a favorite scent, and notice the color of the sky.

3. Deep breathe - slowly inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. This can counter the effects of stress by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.

4. Reach out to friends and loved ones for support and a fresh perspective.

5. Body Scan - notice the areas of your body that feel stressed and notice your breath flowing to that part of your body.

6. Laugh - Laughter can boost brain chemicals and lighten your mood.

7. Listen to music - soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and reduce anxiety.

8. Exercise - Yoga, walking, etc. can release those feel good chemicals.

9. Be grateful - Keep a gratitude journal. Studies have shown this can reduce depression and cancel out negative thoughts and worries.

Have a happy and safe holiday!!!

Sherry Lehmann, RMHCI

Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

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