5 Stress Management Tips for the Holidays

Shopping in crowded malls – deep cleaning your home in preparation for guests – preparing and serving a holiday meal for 10 – there’s nothing like the holidays to make you pull out your hair. If you want stress to disappear like the ghost of Christmas past, follow these 7 simple stress management tips:

  1. Choose to shop online – Forget about finding a parking space amidst thousands of shoppers, long check-out lines and shuffling crowds, this Christmas choose to shop online. Internet shopping saves time and money, especially if you can locate a good sale. Additionally, because you’re not stuck in a mall all day, you’ll reserve energy that can be well-spent on other things. If you don’t have the time or energy to gift wrap, have your packages pre-wrapped before they’re shipped.
  2. Meditate with mindfulness – Lung disease is stressful enough without the added pressure of the holidays. Meditation reduces stress by slowing down your heart rate and breathing, stabilizing your blood pressure1 and allowing you to use oxygen more efficiently.2 If you don’t already know how to meditate, purchase a meditation tape online or from a bookstore.
  3. Eat right and exercise – In times of stress, most of us throw a healthy diet and exercise program right out the window. But what you eat and how much you exercise has a direct effect on your energy level. This holiday, choose the road less traveled by eating healthy, well-balanced meals and exercising daily.
  4. Give breathing a boost – Managing shortness of breath can be daunting, especially during times of stress. Pursed lip breathing is a breathing exercise that helps control shortness of breath. Practicing it several times a day will make it easier for you to call upon it when you really need it.
  5. Relax and restore – Relaxation is essential to physical and mental health. When you’re feeling stressed out, relaxation can restore you back to health. One of the easiest ways to practice relaxation is through visualization. Visualization is literally a mind trip; by closing your eyes and imagining yourself in a tranquil, safe and happy environment, your body is restored to a calm and peaceful state.

To share what gets you through the holidays, please feel free to leave a comment.


Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN


1 Chicago Tribune. Meditation offers significant health benefits. Harvard Health Letter. Sep. 29, 2013.
2 Theodore K. Phelps. The Science of Meditation. 2007.

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