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Combat Holiday Stress

Holiday-stressEvery year, it can hit us like a freight train—the stress of the holidays, lurking everywhere we turn. We’re about to have added social engagements on our plates, which are already overflowing with responsibility. There is the additional expense during a tough time for our economy, and many of us are coordinating arrangements and travel on top of that financial strain.

And then there’s the grief that can rise when we least expect it, for those who are no longer here to celebrate with us.

It is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but in fact it can be quite difficult to navigate. Take a moment now to reset your focus for the next few weeks of this memory-making marathon, and learn a few tips to help you cope.

Take A Deep Breath

We tell our clients at Advantage Chiropractic to focus first on their breathing. Practicing box breathing can help reset your body and mind. Once you are settled in a chair or laying down, take a minute to breathe in and out, in big, deep breaths. Once you’re calm, breathe in and hold your breath until the count of four, and then exhale for four counts. Repeat this three more times, or until you feel centered.

Know Your Triggers

All of us have triggers for our anger, stress, and resentment. For example, during the holidays you might have to host a relative with five children under the age of 5, who are prone to destroying your home in the short time they’re there, but whose parents do nothing to prevent it.

In this situation, we need to assess what we can do to protect our mental health. Is there something easy you can give them to keep them occupied during their stay, like games, movies, or even a simple craft?

If there isn’t a workaround for your trigger, it could be you need to come to terms that it’s out of your control and prepare yourself for the aftermath. If you have a significant other or partner, you can have that conversation with them and explain your holiday triggers, and ask them for help in navigating them.

Delegate Holiday Responsibilities

It can be hard for us to delegate work to our loved ones, but it’s absolutely crucial for our well-being. If you’re hosting a gathering this holiday season, set your plan in place, structure your timing, and delegate responsibilities. Set your table well in advance and make menu items, like gravy or dressing, ahead of time.

Another tip is to order your groceries and pick them up, instead of fighting crowds. If you are particular about your produce, order most of your groceries ahead of time and then just run in quickly for the produce items when you pick up the rest of your order, saving time.

If something can be made ahead of time and frozen, and then thawed when you need it for the holiday dinner, do it! If you need to make a meal with half store-bought items or ingredients, and the other half homemade, there is no shame in shortcuts. Few people, if anyone, will know unless you tell them.

Give Yourself Grace

During the holiday season, give yourself and others grace. This isn’t a magazine photo shoot, and nobody’s looking for perfection. Focus on the opportunity you have to get together with loved ones and enjoy each other’s company, especially with the world as it is right now.

We all have so much going on in our lives, so keep conversations positive. We don’t need extra or unnecessary drama during the holidays.

And if you need a bit of a mental boost now or following this holiday season, we’re here to help. Contact our office in St. Cloud for more information about getting a grip on your stress through a variety of the treatments and services we offer.


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