Lisa Cooper did a small thing the other day that helped lessen her holiday stress.
She got home before her kids, threw a quick dinner together and actually did a quick workout before anyone got home.
She ran in place in her living room, did a few wall squats, planks and stretches. Then, she capped off her hurried workout with a few minutes of silence sitting in front of her Christmas tree. She meditated by listening to her breaths. She felt less stressed by the time her family got home.
“I have anxiety. I sometimes feel as if I’m going to explode,” Lisa said. “I’m not going to get rid of the anxiety, but I can learn how to manage it.”
It’s no secret that holiday demands can cause a lot of stress in people during this time of year. You might be stressing over family strife, financial concerns or ways to tackle an ever-growing to-do list.
People are stressed about different things and show stress in different ways.
Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress
For Lisa, it comes down to recognizing the warning signs that she’s feeling anxious or stressed and doing something about it. When she starts feeling anxious, she might:
- Take deep breaths or go for a quick walk.
- Keep lists of everything she has to do. When she crosses something off her list, she feels better because she sees she’s getting things done.
- Plan ahead. Lisa spends her Sundays planning her meals and doing her ironing so she has less to do during the work week.
- Contact her therapist when she has trouble breaking out of her anxiety.
If you have any concerns about how you feel, reaching out to your primary care physician or another health care provider is always an option, added Ann Griepp, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for behavioral health at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
Click on the following videos for more tips from Ann on how to cope during the holidays. Or, read 12 ways to reduce holiday stress.