When I was a college student, I often experienced illness over holiday breaks. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. Doesn’t everyone get sick during “cold and flu season”? What I didn’t realize then was that I was just barely “holding it together” while under the immense stress of studying and final exams. Once I got back home and started to slow down, the floodgates opened and I would get sick.
Now that I have a greater understanding of health and human physiology, I know better! While the stress of life during the holiday season has changed…it hasn’t necessarily gone down. What once was final exams and travel has shifted to birthday parties, school, and work holiday parties, and more!
As we find ourselves in the middle of the busy holiday season, the joy of the season can sometimes be overshadowed by the stress it brings… especially if we also get sick because of it! Here are four tips I have found helpful to reduce stress, create ease, and support your body and nervous system while you enjoy fun, family, and friends throughout the holiday season.
1. Prioritize Your Well-Being with Chiropractic Care:
The holiday hustle can take a toll on our well-being, making it crucial to adopt proactive measures. Regular chiropractic care emerges as a key player in supporting your body’s ability to manage stress. Chiropractic adjustments facilitate a clear connection between the brain and body, empowering the nervous system to better handle life’s stresses. By incorporating chiropractic visits into your routine (even in the hectic holiday schedule), you will establish a foundation of wellness and avoid the roller coaster of highs and lows that can accompany neglecting our health.
Taking a preventative approach by seeking chiropractic care regularly ensures that you are not scrambling to address issues as they arise. It’s a commitment to creating lasting wellness, making the holiday season more enjoyable and stress-free.
2. Synchronize with Your Natural Rhythms:
Recognizing and respecting my body’s natural cyclical rhythms is a game-changer for managing stress during the holidays. By aligning your commitments with your cyclical design, you can better navigate periods of heightened stress susceptibility. Understanding and tracking your menstrual cycle allows you to make intentional choices, ensuring you’re not overcommitting during phases when you need more rest and relaxation (especially when you are menstruating!)
This isn’t just about you alone—your family benefits too. Because we have specialized neurons in our brains called “mirror neurons” when you sync your calendar with the phases of your menstrual cycle, you are less stressed, and your positive energy radiates, influencing the entire family. So, ladies, your well-being has a ripple effect, contributing to a more harmonious environment for everyone you encounter!
3. Establish Predictability in Your Schedule:
Amidst the holiday chaos, creating a sense of safety and predictability in your schedule becomes a priority. When your kids don’t know what they are “walking into” it often creates more stress in their nervous systems. Add in excess sugar and you’ve got a recipe for a major melt-down! Proactively managing the family calendar by discussing upcoming events with your kids helps them establish a sense of control. Predictability is not just beneficial for children; it’s a powerful tool for stabilizing your nervous system.
Sitting down a few days before events or parties and visualizing what’s to come helps to prepare you and your family and creates a greater sense of control. This practice becomes especially crucial as school is on break and your children aren’t in their normal routine. Predictability becomes a cornerstone in mitigating the stress that often accompanies the holiday season.
4. Embrace the Power of Saying No:
In a society that often glorifies busyness, I’ve come to realize the strength of saying no. The key to this is understanding that everyone responds differently to stress and that sometimes leads to over-commitment. Many people have heard of the “fight or flight” stress response, but that is not the full picture. Some people “freeze” (like a deer in the headlights), and some people “fawn” (pleasing or appeasing the “threat”). Fawning is often where we say “yes” when we really want to say “no.” This awareness gives you the freedom to set boundaries. Saying no, when necessary, is an act of self-care, preventing additional stress that can arise from overextending yourself.
There are times when saying yes doesn’t align with your well-being and can lead to more significant stress. Permitting yourself to say no is not only liberating, it allows you to prioritize your mental health and navigate the holiday season authentically.
As the holiday season approaches, these four tips serve as a guide to mastering a stress-free and enjoyable experience. From prioritizing well-being through chiropractic care to synchronizing with natural rhythms, establishing predictability, and embracing the power of saying no, these strategies can empower you to navigate the holidays with resilience and joy. It’s a reminder that a stress-free holiday is not just a possibility; it’s a conscious choice to prioritize your well-being and make this season one to cherish.