It’s normal during the Holiday months of November and December for stress levels to be at an all-time high. Our to-do lists are long and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Shopping, baking and preparing for gatherings can take its toll on our health this time of year. But fear not, there are natural remedies for you to reduce that stress right from home!
These six remedies will not only bump up your self-care but also allow you to relax and enjoy this Holiday Season!
1.) APPLY PEPPERMINT OIL:
Peppermint oil is effective against anxiety and restlessness. It stimulates mental activity, clears the mind, and boosts cognition. It’s even great for relieving a headache. Like many other essential oils, peppermint can provide relief from stress, depression, and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. Apply directly to skin or diffuse throughout the house for an inviting scent of the season.
Perhaps you’d enjoy sipping peppermint as a tea instead? Drinking hot tea itself can melt stress away, but with the added benefit of peppermint, it may soon become your go-to stress reliving beverage. This time of year my favorite type of minty tea is Candy Cane Lane from Trader Joe’s. It’s a blend of peppermint and green tea. Delicious!
2.) PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING:
With the amount of tension around the Holiday Season, it’s a great time to remember to take more deep breaths. It’s a great pick me up whenever needed, and you can do this anytime, anywhere. Breathe in through the nose for a count of four, hold for a count of two, then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat three to four times. Keep your breath slow and controlled. Notice how your shoulders release. Notice the tension and anxiety leaving your body.
Was it difficult at first to inhale a full belly breath? Perhaps it felt as though the breath came from your chest? When we are under stress, we tend to be chest breathers. In fact, with our busy lives, many of us tend to stay in this fight or flight state of being throughout the day and night. Remembering to breathe deeply is the purest, most beneficial and energizing form of stress management accessible to us daily.
Slowing down and focusing on our breath can be the beautiful beginning of a meditation practice. For more information on the benefits of meditation and why I began meditating in my 40’s, you can check out my previous post here.
3.) SOAK IN A LAVENDAR BATH:
The luxury of a warm, inviting bath can melt the stress away. Soak in a tub of warm water mixed with two cups Epsom salt and 1-2 drops of pure Lavender Oil. The Epsom salt soothes away tension and relieves sore muscles while the lavender oil relaxes the body and mind with its delicious scent. As a bonus, turn your bathroom into day spa by lighting your favorite candle and enjoy a glass of wine. Divine!!
4.) GET OUTSIDE AND TAKE A WALK:
Next, to breathing, walking is another of the accessible stress relieving activities we have available to us. Heading outside and picking up the pace can help you exercise that anxious energy away. Whether you choose to walk in the morning, afternoon, or evening, this movement opens our senses to nature, helps regulate cortisol in our body, naturally balances our hormones, and clears the mind.
Spending just a few minutes of walking can restore much-needed balance to a stressful day. Why not bring a friend, family member or furry companion along with you to pass the time? Our bodies are meant to move! Walking can be done as much as possible, as often as possible in numerous terrains and locations. No fancy equipment, gear, or machinery required.
5.) SMILE MORE, LAUGH MORE, LIVE MORE
Get together with family and friends. Being together and sharing smiles and laughter can boost your mood and relieve stress! It’s easy to get over-scheduled and frantic this holiday season, but remember, we are in control of the stress we allow into our lives and how it affects us. Ultimately we decide how much, when, with whom and how we’ll spend our time. Human connection is worth the effort. In a world overrun with technology, we forget to connect, step away and just be together in the present moment. Take a few minutes to meet for coffee, take a photo together, chat on the phone, or even plan to shop for the holiday’s together. Challenge yourself to smile more throughout the day and see how much it boosts your mood.
6.) GIVE BACK/PAY IT FORWARD
A great way to take the pressure and focus off of our holiday stressors is to give back to others. A donation of time or money can go a long way to make someone else’s life a little brighter. Spread some holiday cheer and send positive energy into the universe by hiding dollar blessings for others to find in unexpected places. Attach a few written Post-it blessing to dollar bills (any denomination) and drop them anywhere to be found with surprise.
Choose an item from a giving tree or pay forward a purchase for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop, drive-thru or even grocery store. Also, many shelters are looking for volunteers this time of year. Simple, easy gestures made from the heart to spread hope, positive energy, smiles, joy, and holiday cheer.
So as stress levels climb this holiday season, give one (or more) of these remedies a try. You’ll feel better in no time and find yourself enjoying this magical time of year with more ease and flow!
Comment below on how many remedies you try at home. I’d love to hear from you!!