Holiday Stress Image5 Stress Management Tips for “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

In what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” we find ourselves in a trepidatious reality.  Depending on your personal circle, you may have participated in “happy meetings” that resulted in “scary ghost stories.”  Referring back to our Priority Environment on our PDP (Behavioral Assessment) remember that pressures can come from 6 different environments:  (1) Work; (2) Family; (3) Social; (4) Health; (5) Financial; (6) Beliefs.  How many of these areas have been impacted for you this year?  Add to that hurts, disappointments and fears we carry in our hearts on a routine basis, then add in a pandemic, then toss in the holidays and it begins to feel as though it’s not quite a “wonderful time of the year” at all.

This is where we’re challenged as individuals to tap into our emotional intelligence skills – especially optimism and stress management. The most common research on stress management tells us that 8-10 hours of sleep a night, exercise, and the all-time favorite eating well will reduce our stress. These do not work for everyone, some of these things might even stress us out more. Here are five unique tips that have helped others in the past:

Animals Relieve StressSpend Time With Your Pet

Who would have thought in a million years that petting an animal would release feel-good endorphins? The presence of a pet also makes the most difficult situations less stressful. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for example, has two therapy dogs on staff that help patients and workers through their most stressful days.

Gratitude SandwichMake a Gratitude Sandwich

Sandwich one stressful task between two things that you are thankful for and enjoy. 

Journaling for Stress ManagementJournal Your Thoughts

Even if this is just one line a day, write something you accomplished that day or at least one thing you are grateful for.

Vagus Nerve StimulationStimulate your Vagus Nerve

You can do this with deep diaphragmatic breathing, massaging either side of your neck, or splashing chilled water in your face. This will help slow your heart rate and reduce stress.

Dark Chocolate Stress ReliefEat Dark Chocolate

It contains Glucocorticoid, a stress- reducing hormone. 

​Find the rhythm and techniques that work best for you and run with it! Keep your hope up!  We look forward to hearing your success stories.