Healthy Tips

How to Avoid Holiday Season Stress and Practice Mindfulness

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While the holidays are an exciting time to gather with friends and family, it can also have a negative impact on your overall wellbeing. Whether you're feeling prone to stress and anxiety or are managing a busy travel schedule while trying to avoid the extra treats of the season, there is a strong chance that being thrown out of your routine will cause some feelings of unease. Consider these tips from the mindfulness experts at Gaiam to keep your body in great shape for the New Year:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This is a great rule of thumb anytime of the year, but aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day. Add in an additional 8 ounces for every adult beverage, cup of coffee, or sweaty workout. Being properly hydrated helps us sleep better, feel full faster, and flush unwanted toxins out of our system - all essential to staying well during these hectic months.
  • Go outside. While we tend to gravitate towards hibernation mode this time of year, you should bundle-up, breathe deep, and head outside for some fresh (and perhaps slightly cold) air. Notice the change in color and scenery around you - the lights, the smells, feel your feet on the ground.
  • Sweat it out. With all of the additional holiday activities, as well as a change in weather, workouts can easily fall by the wayside this time of year. Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise a few times per week. Increasing your heart rate and feeling empowered can help you not to over-indulge as you’ll feel the effects of your consumption a little quicker.
  • Add in some extra meditation. Sit quietly with your eyes closed, bringing one hand to your heart and one hand to your low belly. Focus on breathing into the hand on your heart, then into the hand on your belly. Exhale completely and repeat 10 times. Notice how you feel before and after. Make a point to do this at least once a day for the next few weeks, perhaps adding in an extra session if you know you’re going to be having a particularly busy day.

Perfection doesn’t exist, but it's powerful to remember you have the ability to create your experience (especially this time of year). Focusing on these tips will ease you into the season with a clean slate.

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This content is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.


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