| Jeanette Chen | December 15, 2016 |
This blog post was sponsored by MegaFood as part of my participation in their Ambassador program and was originally published on JeanettesHealthyLiving.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Are you feeling stressed out about the holidays? I know I am. I can feel my anxiety level rising, tension building in my shoulders, and tightness in my stomach.
The holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time for celebration and spending quality time with family and friends. Yet, all too often, I hear people grumbling about how stressful a time it is. It’s no wonder, with all the gift shopping, preparation, and decorating to be done, in addition to dealing with family dynamics a.k.a. Drama.
Healthy Holiday Relaxation Tips
So, I am challenging you to take a pledge with me to reduce your stress level this holiday season. I’ve come up with 8 Healthy Holiday Relaxation Tips to help reduce stress so we can enjoy the holidays more. You’ll notice many of these tips focus on self-care. That’s because I believe we need to feel good ourselves in order to give more of ourselves to others. And, the holiday season calls us to give a lot, so we need to be in a good place.
- Reserve a half-hour each day to sit quietly. This is something I have started to do in the morning which has really helped set the tone for each day. Before I get on the computer or start doing household chores, I spend 30 minutes of quiet time reading inspirational devotions. Other things you can do are: write down three things you’re grateful for each morning, read something you find inspirational, pray, or meditate.
- Listen to relaxing, inspirational, and uplifting music throughout the day. Listening to relaxing, inspiration, and uplifting music keeps me calm and happy. My favorites are K-Love radio, Francesca Battistelli Radio, and classical music. Choose your favorites.
- Laugh out loud. Did you know that laughter is a stress reliever? Laughter not only enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, but it soothes tension and improves your mood too. (1)
- Undercommit yourself. I used to book my calendar to the max, with back-to-back appointments. Give yourself blocks of time to take a breather and provide some cushion in your schedule. Schedule an appointment for “me time” on your calendar. Whether you get a manicure, a massage, curl up in your favorite chair and read a book, take a walk outside, or sit and enjoy a cup of tea, it’s important to carve out downtime for yourself each day.
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep at night. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night. (2) Good sleep habits include going to bed the same time every night, avoiding caffeine eight hours before bedtime, and relaxing quietly an hour before you go to bed (e.g., say no to electronics, no to chores, yes to reading, yes to a hot bath). 3 You can also support MegaFood's Dream Release™, specially formulated from whole herbs to help promote a restorative and restful sleep.
- Keep Mondays free. I reserve Mondays for prioritizing what I need to get done for the week ahead, and to catch up on any loose ends, trying to focus on what’s most important. Starting off the week with a plan helps me make more efficient use of my time.
- Exercise your body and mind. Physical and mental exercise produces endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Even taking a few deep breaths can cause your body to produce endorphins. (4)
- Take a 20-minute power nap if you need. There are days when I don’t think I can make it through the day without a nap. I’ve even taken power naps sitting in the car in the parking lot. Just 20 minutes can be re-energizing.
The one area I am still working on is getting enough quality sleep each night. Even if I get in bed early enough to get 7 hours of sleep, I don’t feel rested in the morning. My mind is still racing when I hop in bed. So, I’ve been trying to get off the electronics earlier, and taking MegaFood Dream Release™ before bedtime. It’s helped me a lot. I wake up feeling more restored than before.*
What I love about MegaFood products is that they are all made with farm-fresh real, whole ingredients. Dream Release contains valerian and California poppy which have long been used to promote deep restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness.* It also contains ashwagandha (commonly known as Indian ginseng) and magnesium, which helps to promote a healthy stress response.* Valerian is included in Dream Release because of its traditional use as a botanical known to promote a dream state.* It has been used to alleviate nervous restlessness since the second century A.D.* (5)
If you’re looking for even more stress support, you might try another Farm-To-Tablet MegaFood product that supports a healthy stress response during the waking hours* – Un-Stress®.
Un-Stress replenishes nutrients, including B vitamins, which are readily depleted during periods of stress.* It is made with fresh, whole foods including organic whole oranges, blueberries, and cranberries. In addition, it contains organic herbs to promote a healthy stress response, positive outlook, soothe nerves and help relieve tension.*
(1) Stress Management, Mayo Clinic
(2) How Stress Affects Your Health, American Psychological Association
(3) Strategies for Getting Enough Sleep, National Institute of Health
(4) Physical Activity Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression Association of America
(5) Valerian, University of Maryland Medical Center
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.