Although the holiday season is a time of happiness and festivities with friends and family, it can also be a time of stress for many people.  The following tips are designed to help you find some relaxation time through the bustle of the holiday season.

Anticipate obstacles:

Are there points or situations that have been stressors to you in the past?  How are you planning to cope with those situations or are there ways those stressors can be eliminated?  Are you guilty of over scheduling or over committing yourself?  Once you identify the stressors, it can be easier to manage them.

Be proactive with your health:

The extra stress, errands and being on your feet longer than you are used to can leave you feeling tense and sore.  Take a few minutes to meditate, attend a yoga class or book yourself a chiropractic and massage appointment.  Stressful times of year are often when your body gets overwhelmed and becomes more susceptible to colds and flu and also reoccurrences or aggravations of old injuries.  Be proactive and continue with your health and wellness routine before, during and after the holiday season.

Make new traditions:

Is there something you can do as a family?  Perhaps there is a Christmas play being performed locally that you can attend as a group.  This is quality time spent together.  Try getting outside of the house which reduces the stress of meal preparation and housekeeping.

Perhaps you could take a walk through your neighbourhood to take in all the lights and decorations.  Perhaps doing a potluck this year instead of preparing the whole meal yourself would alleviate some stress.  If there’s snow, you could make a snowman or go snowshoeing.  Adding exercise into your traditions will naturally reduce stress levels by reducing cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) and increasing serotonin levels (the “happy hormone”).

Also, with sunlight hours being shorter, it’s important to spend time outdoors to take in the sunlight and keep your Vitamin D levels adequate.

Don’t forget the meaning of the holiday:

This is a great time of year to do something kind for another person.  Perhaps inviting a neighbour for supper or volunteering with a local shelter.  It’s a great opportunity to show your kids how fortunate they are to have the things they have.  Make a visit to the local soup kitchen a yearly tradition where you and your family help others.  Maybe for every new toy your child receives, they can decide to give some of their older toys that they have grown out of to another child in need.  Focus on what the holidays should really be about.

Start implementing these tips and avoid the holiday stress this season!

Dr. Melissa Baird is a chiropractor with Glebe Chiropractic Clinic. More health and wellness tips can be found on Facebook at GLEBE Chiropractic + Massage Therapy or on Twitter @GlebeChiro.