How to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

It’s easy to feel not so wonderful during “the most wonderful time of year.”  Here are some tips to reduce stress that might dampen your holiday spirit.


  • Brighten your mood with sunlight.  It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of people every year.  If the weather outside is dreary, consider using phototherapy indoors which simulates sunlight.  The wake-up light on the BEDDI alarm clock can also help you wake up more refreshed and illuminate a dark room.


  • Walk away from worries.  If the house full of company or papercuts from wrapping have you feeling stressed, take a walk around your neighborhood.  The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.”


  • Don’t overdo it.  It’s easy to go overboard with holiday shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event.  And while these activities might be exciting at the moment, they can easily leave you overly exhausted and stressed. Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and take a break to enjoy the moment.


  • Go tech-free. Constantly looking at your cell phone or hearing buzzes and email alerts keep anyone in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline.  Try to limit your cell phone usage to during downtime or use something like the NOTTI which can notify you of important calls and texts with a  subtle illumination in the room. And when it’s not needed to alert you of important communication, the color changing LED light can add a little extra ambience or you can set the colors to complement your holiday traditions.


  • Fit in exercise. It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.  Plus exercise can help you avoid holiday weight gain.


  • Make sure you get enough sleep so you don’t turn into a Grinch. It’s easy to feel like it’s worth it to stay up late during the holidays to catch up with old friends and family from out of town, but those late nights can still wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. That’s why, as hard as it may seem to do, you should keep your regular sleep schedule.


  • Stay positive.  The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don’t focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response, just as a real threat does. Remember, it’s time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.


Happy holidays!

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