Holiday Stress Management: Healthy Living Tips

holiday stress management

Note: This post is part of a 5 part series titled  Your Holiday Survival Guide. At the end of this article, you’ll be directed to the next 4 articles.

The best approach to holiday stress management is through healthy living. However, it might seem like healthy living is impossible during the holidays. I hear this frequently in my community.

Is it the same for you?

Here are 4 healthy living tips that can help with your holiday stress management.

Holiday Stress Management Tip # 1: Dealing with Negative Family members

This is by far the source of my stress for the ladies in my community… aunt Edna and cousin Nancy! I’m sure you’ve experienced this for yourself. Maybe comments about your body or weight or perhaps it’s judging comments about your kids or partner choice… I mean everything it’s up for judgment for these people.

Here’s my #1 tip… You’ll need to take personal responsibility for the relationship between you and them. At this point, there’s no hope for you to change “them”. You have to accept that. Remember one thing: Every human being seek love and acceptance even the most negative family members.

If this is something your struggle with I’d suggest you listen to this Youtube video to help you shift how you deal with negative family members. Click here to watch video.

Holiday Stress Management Tip #2: Lower Anxiety 

A great deal of the foods that we love around the holidays are actually full of caffeine, which will naturally raise your level of anxiety. That means those peppermint mochas and sodas with Santa Claus printed on them are making you feel even more stretched and out of control. Even decaf coffee has some caffeine in it! It might taste good in the moment, but within a few minutes your heart will be pumping just a hair faster and you’ll feel jittery.

To lower your anxiety during the holiday season, try cutting the caffeine. You’ll quickly find that your level of stress is less and that you feel much better! Try drinking ice water or hot peppermint tea to replace soda and coffee. The short-term sacrifice of letting it go will be worth it!

Holiday Stress Management Tip #3: Reduce Guilt

Guilt is a driver of stress. If you’ve committed to a healthy lifestyle but then abandon it during the holiday season, then you’re going to find yourself feeling guilty. That’s because you feel as though you’ve betrayed yourself more than because anyone is telling yourself that you’re bad for indulging … sound familiar?

Sticking to your healthy living plan will feel much better long term as you conquer temptation on your own than the momentary good feeling that you get from highly sugary foods. Allow yourself to indulge in ways that aren’t related to food during the holidays. 

If you need to know how to stay on track during office holiday parties, my blog post can help you. I also have a blog post on how to teach your kids healthy holiday eating habits. Teaching those habits to someone else is one of the best ways to make them stick!

Treat yourself to that guilty pleasure holiday movie or to a holiday concert as a reward instead of food. Give to yourself during the holidays, but do it in ways that line up with your healthy living philosophies, and you’ll feel much better!

Holiday Stress Management Tip #4: Release Happy Hormones

Exercise makes you happy, right there in your brain. If you’re feeling the holiday blues, getting active will fundamentally combat that stress by releasing endorphins. The reality is that there is an emotional payoff for those bad habits, but when you jump into a physical activity you’ll get a much bigger one! Exercise (even moderate exercise) will help to clear your mind and improve your mood.

Your exercise time is your “me” time. This is you taking care of yourself, treating yourself to something that you get a real benefit out of. You might also think about treating yourself to that yoga class that you’ve always wanted to try or the fitness book that you’ve been eyeing. Indulge in inspiration, and get a physical payoff that will lower your holiday stress level.

Next: The Holiday Survival Guide

This post is part of a 5 part series titled  Your Holiday Survival Guide.  Continue your journey and take the next step in reading:

Teaching Good Holiday Eating Habits to Kids

The critical importance of self-care during the holiday period

How to navigate the holiday parties and enjoy it!

My top 5 healthy baking tips





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Stephanie Dodier

Hello! I'm Stephanie, Clinical Nutritionist, author and host of The Beyond The Food Show and founder of The Beyond The Food Academy . I'm help women become intuitive eaters & body confident!. Get started now with my free Audio Training.

2 Responses to “Holiday Stress Management: Healthy Living Tips”

  1. […] Fight Holiday Stress with Healthy Living » December 12, 2015 […]

  2. […] Realize that when you grab the bag of candy at the gas station that you’re not buying it because you’re hungry, you’re buying it because you are bored or stressed. Pick up that kitschy refrigerator magnet or souvenir spoon instead. You can read more on strategies to stay on track during the holiday here  […]

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