People who know me, know I suffer from terrible migraines. Triggers can be as simple as weather changes, icky food additives, hormonal crap...and stress. We all know that though December is a time of fun (and presents!), fellowship, and for some, religious observations. Throw in the flu season, cold weather, cranky kids... and the month is a stress crockpot!
But stress doesn't just affect those with migraines. Many of us dash around doing "fun" holiday things (decorating, cooking, shopping), plus all the kid things (who in the heck thought December was a great time for a recital? Are you kidding me? Why not February?), the job stress and year-end workload (and for those of us who write--though NY seems to shut down in December, a writer's work is never done)--it's no wonder we are stressed and haggard.
When you are feeling tense, try these things that help me:
1. Turn off the Christmas music and pop in some music that makes you happy. Trust me, though I love Christmas music, the 400th airplay of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" puts me into sniper mode.
2. Take a few deep breaths while closing your eyes. Think about the warm sunlit beach. Or mountain views. Or do yoga. Take a relaxing bath. Or my favorite: take a nap! The most important thing is to PAUSE and take a few moments to recenter yourself.
3. Curl up with a good book or movie. Or play a board game with the kids. Getting your brain tuned to things other than all the To-Do things can work wonders.
4. Stay hydrated! If you are thirsty--you've waited too long to drink. Caffeinated beverages don't help since caffeine is a diuretic. Dehydration causes tiredness, headaches (including migraines), sluggish thoughts--sounds like holiday season to me! And if you are drinking alcoholic beverages--you need even more water. Here is my favorite water (it has electrolytes in it!), recommended to me by my friend, CJ, at a conference. This stuff is gold:
Those are some of my tips for a less-stressful holiday season. They won't take away all the stress, but remember--December is only thirty-one days long. It will end.
I'd love to hear other tips to de-stress! Please share in the comments.