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There's a reason you've heard everyone talking about meditation more than usual lately: it's enjoying a moment in the spotlight because it's such a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. You also don't need to put aside an hour of your precious time to get it done. Apps like Headspace encourage you to devote just 10 minutes to meditation each morning, something that you almost definitely have time for.

Yes, you already have a million things to do, and no, you probably don't want to add one more chore to that list. But hear us out: cleaning your bedroom can actually help you feel more relaxed in the long run. Clutter in itself can be stressful, and returning to a messy room every night isn't going to help you sleep soundly.

Checklist for a stress-free holiday season | Canada Post

Cleaning your room helps clear your mind and allows you to feel more organized. During the holiday season, you might find yourself reaching for more caffeine than usual to get through the busier days and nights. Though understandable, it could backfire. Drinking caffeine up to six hours before bed can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night or to truly get a good night's rest.

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You might hit a slump around 3 pm, but you'll thank yourself when you can get to bed at a reasonable time that night Everyone's schedule tends to go a bit haywire during the holidays as you add in extra events, shopping, and preparation. However, try to stick to the routine you always follow.

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Research has found that following a routine results in a better immune system, less stress, and better sleep patterns. It also just generally makes you feel more organized. Whip out your planner and make things work! If you have a long list of people you need to buy gifts for, you need to get organized.

It's the only way to stay on top of what you want to buy each person, what you have bought each person, and where you need to pick things up. There are a lot of apps out there that can help you do exactly that, like Santa's Bag and The Christmas List. It sounds small, but it's something that could make your life a lot easier. The holidays often come with a lot of pressure to do, well You get invited to a lot of parties and events, and after a while, it can really take over your life. But this is important to remember: you can say no to things.

Tips for stress-free travel this holiday season

Sure, there are some functions you're obligated to attend, but if something is going on that you're not that interested in, just politely decline. It could leave you feeling happier, and there's no real reason to force yourself to do it all. There is no shortage of delicious-smelling candles during the holiday season, and you should probably get one and light it. It can be anything from your favorite holiday scent to something more classic. Scents can have a powerful impact on your mood, relieving anxiety and boosting your happiness. Research has shown that scents like jasmine, lavender, and lemon can help get rid of stress, but you should light anything that calms you down and makes you feel happy.

It's easy to drive yourself crazy searching for the absolute perfect gift for everyone in your life, from your significant other to your kids to your parents. If you're really freaking out about a gift, there's no shame in taking a shortcut and getting them a gift card instead, and you can make it more personal by getting them one to their favorite restaurant or store. Making time for intimacy with your partner has plenty of benefits : it can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, boost your endorphins, give you a glow, and it can even count as your exercise for the day.

Indulge in some hygge this holiday season, a Danish word that essentially means getting super cozy. It's basically a form of self-care because it's a way of thinking that encourages you to do something fun that's just for yourself. Kick back, turn on your favorite holiday movie and indulge in a warm cup of hot chocolate, for starters.

Little kids experience genuine joy over the holiday season, and who can blame them? They get to have tons of fun, receive lots of gifts, and enjoy all of the happiness without any of the stress. Being around that kind of innocent joy can be contagious. Spend some time with the little kid in your life, whether it's your child, niece, nephew, or cousin, and take them to do something fun for the holidays, like looking at Christmas lights or ice skating.

It will almost definitely lift your mood. Don't get overwhelmed at the prospect of hosting a holiday dinner.

How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Eating Experience

Instead of making every dish by yourself, make it a potluck and ask everyone invited to bring one item to share to make prep and clean-up easier. It may be a bit chilly outside, but it's worth it to bundle up in some extra layers and head outside for a quick walk. Simply being outside in nature is enough to help you feel more calm and refreshed. Exercising outside also really helps you focus on yourself and your mental health. For example, turn a simple bouquet of red carnations into an eye-catching arrangement by adding red glass gemstones to a vase and a few drops of red food coloring to the water.

Take the photos out of your everyday frames and replace them with leftover wrapping paper and free printables. Get the tutorial at Flairy Tales. Bring out books to easily add a seasonal touch. Prominently display an illustrated volume of A Christmas Carol on a living room shelf or the fireplace mantel.

Or, place a basket topped with a bow and filled with children's Chanukah books on the coffee table. Every time you make a meal for your husband and kids in the weeks before Christmas, double the recipe and freeze half, says Alison Daniel, a mom of two in Folsom, California. Take your dog outside for some playtime before your gathering. A tired pooch is a lot less likely to jump up on guests or bark incessantly every time the doorbell rings. For extra insurance, keep him occupied with a toy that dispenses treats, like the Kong. Too much added sugar can cause blood sugar highs and lows, leaving you feeling more anxious and less able to handle stress.

Small changes can significantly reduce your overall sugar intake. Try eating just one cookie or piece of candy instead of a handful so you can have a taste without overdoing it. Place your treat on a plate, then walk away from the rest of the goodies so you aren't in sight of more temptations. Also, when cooking, make no-sugar-added choices like roasted sweet potatoes rather than candied yams you'll save 14 grams of sugar per serving.

It's worth it to brave the cold—especially because you don't have to stay out too long to reap the benefits, says Gregory Chertok, sport and exercise psychology consultant. Studies have found that heading outdoors to exercise is more enjoyable than doing the same activity while cooped up inside, and you'll feel a lift in your mood after just 5 minutes. Working out is also one of the best ways to bust anxiety: Research shows that it promotes the release of endorphins, which act like a tranquilizer on the brain. Plus, exercise blunts the effects of stress hormones like cortisol.

Go for a family stroll before or after dinner, or set your morning alarm 20 minutes earlier to fit in a walk. Bottling up your stress for too long can lead to health issues such as back pain from excessive muscle tension and a weakened immune system, says Chris Gilbert, MD, PhD, a general, integrative and holistic medicine practitioner in Los Angeles.

So it's crucial to find a release that works for you. One suggestion: Go to a private spot, such as your car, and scream for about 5 seconds. Yes, seriously. It's like letting out steam from a teakettle. If screaming isn't for you, try a few minutes of dancing, singing put on some holiday tunes! Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The 13 Laziest Dog Breeds. Getty Images. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Sure, you want your home to look great for guests, but don't fall prey to holiday house fever. The goal is to spiff up the house a little, not turn it into a showroom.

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  • Steve Giralt. Once you've shopped for all the family members, decorated the tree, and set the holiday menu, you face the ever-so-tedious task of gift-wrapping. If you don't enjoy wrapping gifts and you know it'll present some challenges, that also means it's probably going to be a pretty messy endeavor. The solution is simple. Instead of making a huge mess with paper, ribbons, and pens, get your gift-wrapping done early so you aren't stuck doing an extra round of cleaning right before the big day. Without the pressure of the clock, you can transform something daunting or annoying into a creative and thoughtful project.

    Plus, this will also allow you to spend the holidays enjoying your family and preparing for big meals. Speaking of which, consider making these gourmet-tasting but easy-to-make holiday recipes , ranging from mains to desserts and everything in between. We promise they'll relieve some extra stress, especially if you're a beginner in the kitchen or happen to be super busy this year. Whether you feel like relieving stress with a big mug of mulled wine, a cozy blanket, and a Netflix marathon or you feel like your living room could benefit from an extra candelabra, holiday aromas, or outdoor lights, make sure you aren't running around looking for these things at the last minute.

    If you know you have everything you'll need, it will make guests feel more comfortable if you're hosting, and hopefully, it will create a peaceful oasis to unwind in during your free moments and will quell any holiday-induced anxiety.