Avoid the Holiday Bug

My mom worked as a bookkeeper for the Board of Education in the town I grew up. The Board office would close for the holidays at the same time as the schools.  The accounting department would have to try to complete an entire month of work in two and a half to three weeks.  Between the holiday preparations and the stress at work by the time my mom was off for the holiday she was always sick. 

This is a common occurrence during the holidays for many families which is a shame. We have managed to take a joyous time and turn it into a stress and frantic rush to close the year.  With that in mind I have complied Seven suggestions which will help reduce the stress and should help you to stay relaxed and healthy throughout the holidays. 

  1. Keep Exercising (or start) – Exercise affects many neurotransmitters in your brain which have an antidepressant-like effect on your brain. Not only have these been shown to increase your mood but they also help you to feel energized and reduce stress.
  2. Get Some Fresh Air – Many of us spend the majority of our time inside an office or home. Five minutes outside has shown to reduce stress, boost feelings and induce relaxation. The weather this December has been unusually mild so take advantage of it.
  3. Wash your hands often – It is a dirty world out there. Touching door handles, counter tops, merchandise and then touching faces, nose, and eyes and transfer germs and we become infected. The simple act of washing your hands with warm soap and water can eliminate transferring most of these germs.
  4. Maintain a Vitamin Regiment – A combination of immune boasting vitamins such as Vitamin C, D, and Zinc along with a probiotic just to name a few will help keep a health immune system to fight off anything going around.
  5. Mediate – Your brain is always moving. At times we each have more going on than others depending on the storms that are brewing. Your superficial thoughts or the “got to do…” thoughts that with proper training and some practice you can begin to “go deep” into your own mind and find the inner calm.   Meditation is a great way to bring immense levels of relaxation and in fact, studies show it can lower your cortisol by 30% in as little as 20 min!
  6. Do something fun – Be sure to carve out time for yourself this holiday season. All too often we find ourselves running around for other people (gifts, parties etc.) and not dedicating any of our time for the things we like to do. Find what you love the most about the holidays and do that (caroling, decorating the tree, writing cards, a massage, hot bath etc.)
  7. Use visualization techniques to relax – Close your eyes and imagine yourself relaxing on the beach or sitting in front of a cozy fireplace with your family. You can also visualize your “perfect” holiday, which is especially useful if you’re worrying over what might go wrong. Although, letting go of the holiday for a while and transporting your mind somewhere else can do wonders.