10 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress Outside of Your Workout

By Josephine Atluri, Director of Business Operations

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We are in the throes of the holiday season and stress levels can get extremely high during this time of year.  Heck, I was just last minute online shopping in a frantic state just now.  Ironically, I am using the writing of this article to procrastinate the long list of holiday shopping I have left to do!  I don't know about you, but a good workout can always relieve my stress for a few hours after the workout is completed.  If I don't get in even a short workout, I get super cranky.  Yet, this time of year involves travel and many disruptions to schedules so a workout may not be possible or may not even be enough to keep the stress at bay.  

There are many other ways to keep the mind and body at peace.  Below is a list of some of my tried and true favorites.  Give them a try and let me know which one worked best for you.  Even better, let me know of some of your favorites that I don't have on my list.  I'm always willing to try out a new strategy to keep handy on deck.  

1. Take a long slow walk - no power walking, crazy arm swinging for this version

2. Take a long hot bath filled with epsom salts and lavender to relax those ripped BodyBurn muscles - sadly, it is soooo taboo to take baths in Cali.  I feel like a criminal for even thinking about it.

3. Color - It's all the rage right now.  Coloring for adults.  Seriously.  Just go into any bookstore and you'll see these fancy intricate coloring books for adults that are overpriced.  If you're a super anal type A personality like myself; then it can be pretty satisfying and relaxing to color within the lines.  Just try not to make it a competition with your kids if you have any in the coloring book stages.  There's nothing sadder than trash talking with your 5 year old about their lack of coloring skills.

4. Sex - Do I really need to explain that one?  In a recent article, it was noted that this particular activity proved to be the best type of stress relief for the astrological sign of Scorpio.  I do not have the citation on hand to reference, so as we all say, "Just Google It!"

5. Yoga - It is such a great way to stretch out those hard working muscles.  Yoga is also a fantastic way to get connected with your body and tune everything else out.

6. Meditation or Repeating a Mantra - I'm too much of a busy body for meditation myself.  However, I do love a good mantra to repeat to myself when I need to put life into perspective and chill out.  My mantra du jour is: "My favorite thing about everything is that you can change anything."  ~ Cleo Wade  Deep.  Think on That!

7. Cuddle Up With Your Furry Friend - No, I'm not referring to someone hairy in your life.  Pets people. Pets. There's a reason animals such as service dogs are brought to nursing homes and children's hospitals.  Research has shown that people's moods are instantly uplifted when in the presence of a happy pet.

8. Veg Out and Watch a Movie - There's nothing like having some alone time on the sofa and watching something that you love.  You'll feel instantly relaxed.

9. Read a Book - Curl up in bed with a juicy book and remove yourself from reality for even just a few minutes.  You'll be amazed at how refreshed you will feel.

10. Nap It Out - When all else fails, just sleep it off.  Life is more manageable after you've had time to clear your head.  

As a bonus for making it to the end of this article, here's one last handy tip.  When you're out at a holiday gathering and can't do any of the above (bathing, coloring, napping at someone else's place will most likely be frowned upon) then here's a great life hack: sneak into a bathroom, closet or pantry and just binge on social media for five minutes.  It's great to see the beautiful things your friends are up to and it makes you appreciate what you have in life.  If you really need a mood booster, watch something funny like carpool karaoke.  

Well, there you have it.  I hope you find something in this list that works for you.  Remember to always get that workout in almost every day of the week if possible even if it is just for 15 minutes.  It's a great way to relieve stress and stay healthy.  Wishing you all a joyful holiday season!

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