It’s that time of year again, the holidays. Are you like me and every time the holidays come around you feel like you are going to self destruct with all that blessed stress? I remember one year, I had a severe panic attack, it felt like an elephant was laying on my chest. Unfortunately, stress and the holidays are synonymous, you cannot have one with out the other. So what’s a girl to do?
What is Stress?
According to Wikapedia (my go to for quick info)
It is the body’s method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Because the body cannot keep this state for long periods of time, the parasympathetic system returns the body’s physiological conditions to normal (homeostasis). In humans, stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.
Wow that is a mouthful. Basically anything that poses a challenge or a threat to your well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are actually good for you – without any stress at all many wise men say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses affect either our mental or physical health, well then it is not so good for us.
The difference between “stress” and “a stressor” – a stressor is an agent or stimulus that causes stress. Examples of stressors are noises, unpleasant people, in-laws, our children throwing temper tantrums in public, just to name a lovely few. Where as “stress” is how our body handles these noxious stimuli, such as a racing heartbeat, headaches, dry mouth, ringing in the ears, or upset stomach.
How to Stay Sane During the Holidays
Unfortunately you can not just break up with stress, but there are skills that you can learn to help you deal with it…
- Go for a hike – the hike will stimulate the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Infuse Citrus oils into the air – citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
- Squeeze the fleshy part of your palm between your index finger and thumb- this is called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure there for just 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body. So if you start to feel overwhelmed by the holiday chaos, give your hand a squeeze and take a deep breath.
- Do Less – Do not over extend yourself. Enjoy the holiday more.
- Forget Perfection – Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Don’t sweat the small stuff, remember Martha Stewart is not perfect either.
I am linking up with Deb Runs