How to Stay Sane This Holiday Season

How to Stay Sane This Holiday Season

As much as the holidays mean spending time with our loved ones  – they also can mean…STRESS!

Pulling together gifts, cooking, indulging in treats and extra time with your family – no matter how much we love them, can lead to burning out.

And we all know that can happen, FAST.

I think a lot of us are consistently running at 100 MPH all the time, but it feels like the holidays exacerbate this even more.

I am SOO hoping to stay ahead of my stress this year, which is why I spent some serious time making a plan for the best techniques to use when I am feeling frazzled.

It can be hard to remember to take time to take care of ourselves and maintain our health during the holiday season –  so check out these tips to help keep you calm, cool and collected.

#1 Magnesium Bath

Want to get in touch with your luxurious, goddess self? Fill up a hot bath with magnesium flakes. Try adding flower petals and lighting a candle to create some serious atmosphere.

#2 4-7-8 Breathing

Sit upright with your back straight and breathe in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath in for 7 counts, and then exhale for 8 counts. Repeat this process 4 times. This exercise is literally retraining your brain on how to hold deeper breathes, and forces you to pay attention to your breathing patterns. This exercise has really helped me in deep bouts of anxiety.

#3 Progressive Muscle Relaxation 

This popular method is based on the theory that if you can control the tenseness and relaxation in your physical body, your mental tenseness can also be controlled. Lay somewhere where you will not be bothered and tense a muscle group, for example, tightening your fist. Hold for a few seconds and release. Move through each muscle group until you have worked through your body. Pay attention to how your muscles feel after releasing the tension.

#4 Basic Emotional Regulation 

Remember this Acronym :
PL  Treat Physical Illness
– Eat
A – Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs
S – Sleep Well
E – Exercise
The science behind this shows that you cannot help your mind relax unless you are taking care of your physical body first or in unison.

#5 Get Outside 

Biophilia is the principle that states that when you are surrounded by nature, (this can even be a picture of nature) your mood is improved, you will experience stress relief, and even increases the speed at which people heal. Get outside – Take a forest bath!

#6 Meditate 

Yes, I know meditating always makes these lists, but that is because IT WORKS. I promise. There is the research to prove it. Take 3-5 minutes and sit with your eyes closed and back straight and focus on your breathing. Or complete a guided meditation, like any of these. There is no wrong way for your thoughts to travel while meditating.

#7 Drink some tea 

Preferably some non-stimulating blends like chamomile, ginger or peppermint. Sometimes I let the steam wash over my face before sipping and really absorb myself in the moment. This can create some additional moisture on the face and eyes, opening up the pores and creating a warm embrace. 

#8 Exercise

Even if it is a light walk, get out and exercise! We have all heard, ENDORPHINS MAKE YOU HAPPY! Even better, get outside to exercise and receive the benefits from #5 too!

#9 Get busy

Science also shows that spending time with loved ones and being intimate will help release stress and boost mood. So grab your beaux and load up the Netflix queue. Not feeling it?

#10 Pet your Pet

There is a reason cat cafes are becoming so popular in large cities. Once again, science has proven that spending time with our pets releases stress. So give your little cutie a much needed snuggle

#11 Be alone 

In order to fully register and process our thoughts and feelings, we really need some solo time (even you extroverts out there!). Make some time for yourself, whether it’s time in the shower or on your morning commute and focus on your thoughts and feelings.

#12 Gratitude journal

 One way to check your stress is to switch up your perspective. Jotting down a few things you are grateful for can really help center your thoughts and refresh your perspective.

#13 Work on a passion project

For me, it can be as simple as going dancing or focusing on what makes my body feel best. Spending time on the tasks that fuel our internal, creative or passionate fire can help us remain focused on long term goals and desires or just remain present.

 

What about you, love? Do you have any go to stress relief tips for the holiday season, or even year round? I would love to hear them and have more options in my back pocket – leave a comment with your favorite way to stay sane, below!

 

<3

How to Camp Paleo

How to Camp Paleo

I saw a facebook video the other day talking about Japanese Forest Bathing and how it had been shown to improve health and well being, even without any form of exercise.

The personal experience of myself and many friends and relatives can confirm this anecdotally.

Being out in nature is just better. 

It’s not just about the great Vitamin D, or the great hikes.  It’s about being outside, with the trees and plants, connected to the earth the way we once were.

Ancestrally, we probably spent our entire lifetimes mostly out of doors.  Even as recently as a few hundred years ago, many of our ancestors were farming people and spent a great deal of time connected to nature. 

Somehow along the way, we’ve lost that.

But it’s that time of the year!  The weather is just right and it makes sense to hit a state park and go camping.

But seriously, have you tasted camp food?

Or what do you do when your allergies make being outside completely miserable?

And WHAT ABOUT SMORES?

Here’s a few little suggestions to make your camping trip more paleo.

Camping Food

For backpacking, campfires often aren’t allowed.  If you’re using a camp stove but sad about the very non gut friendly foods available at your local camp store, try ordering some of these.  They are paleo freeze dried meals.

No guarantees that they taste good, but its better than the alternative!  Find them here. 

For long hikes when you need a snack, there are tons of great options.  I like dried fruit from my FAVE Steve’s Paleo Goods (find out more here) or even paleo trail mix.  Yep, it exists.   And this one’s NUT FREE!!!  Find it here. 

I also like this tuna jerky for something different.

For smores I get creative.  You can make your own paleo graham crackers and marshmallows.

But honestly, I just like to get down with an awesome chocolate bar from Enjoy Life (find them here) sometimes paired with these yummy cinnamon maple graham crackery things (find them here).  

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re spending lots of time outside.  I like to make sure I do that BPA free.

Here’s a favorite bottle of mine.

Keep Those Allergies Under Control

Allergies can make things tough.  I like these allergina drops.  Find the one for your zone and they can help reduce allergy symptoms.

I also like D-hist.  It is not an anti-histamine but does the job similarly to one.  I use this product a lot. You can find it here. 

That’s all for now!  Enjoy the camping trip and remember that many of the health and wellness benefits of camping come from the relaxation and reduced restriction and anxiety of modern life.  So if you want to fudge a little and eat something you don’t normally eat, let it go!  Enjoy the moment.  Times like these don’t come around often enough.