Though we are in the business of helping our clients relax, it’s my experience that those of us behind the scenes in the spa industry have pretty stressful lives. Add the holidays to the mix, and you’ve got a group of people in need of some serious chilling out. To help you out, Dr. Gary Kaplan, founder of The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine (McLean, VA), has provided a list of helpful tips for beating your seasonal stress.
- Do less. While it is the season when people tend to want to go overboard doing for others, you should back away from that impulse. Say “yes” too often, and you may get overwhelmed. Simply tell some people “no,” and share the load by delegating where possible.
- Live simply. While you may be bombarded by ads to Buy! Buy! Buy!, you can choose not to participate and add that stress to your holiday season. Skip the shopping, opt for a few homemade gifts, and spend quality time with those you love. And your credit cards will thank you come January!
- Slow down. Maintaining your normal routine as much as possible during the holidays can help to ease stress. We are creatures of habit, and when our routine is off we feel the sting. Find a good book, and read in bed.
- Find outlets. Everyone needs healthy outlets or ways of discharging pent-up emotional and physical tension. Consider calling a friend to vent, journaling about your feelings, taking an exercise class, or enjoying a long bubble bath.
- Take care. It is especially important during stressful times to take good care of your body. During this holiday season, make wise nutritional choices; get plenty of exercise; and do things that will help restore your energy, such as meditating, or getting a massage. Loving touch heals the body and the mind.
“It is important to do all of these things throughout the year, but especially during the more stressful holiday period,” says Kaplan. “By taking care of yourself and taking steps to decrease your stress level, you can also help fend off illness.”