Some Simple Suggestions to Combat Holiday Stress
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Posted by: Rebecca Roberts
Feeling a little blue during the holidays? Health.com has some simple suggestions to help ease the tension.
Hike Your Mood with Sunlight
It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year, says Judith Orloff, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles.
To ease SAD symptoms, spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days, or ask your doc about phototherapy (a treatment using a box that emits full-spectrum light).
Take a Whiff of Citrus
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
Walk Away from Worries
"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day.
Do Less, Enjoy More
"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more."
Solicit Help the Smart Way
Ask individually instead of emailing groups of colleagues, relatives, or friends, says Noah Goldstein, PhD, an assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In mass requests, recipients assume they don’t need to volunteer to help because someone else will do it.
Read 20 more ways to fight holiday stress