Before the holidays get the best of you (if they haven't already) take advice from today's guest blogger: Dr.Sinatra
from Healthy Directions
. Fortify Your Body with "Anti-Stress" Vitamins
The holidays can be a time of stress and feeling overwhelmed. Many of us struggle with over packed schedules and family expectations. Thankfully, there are a number of natural measures you can take to help you reduce stress and even treat yourself during the holiday season. B vitamins are often called the "stress vitamins" because they're quickly depleted from your body during times of stress. That's because your body needs B vitamins to create the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Plus, they give you the energy you need during times of stress (and shopping and cooking and wrapping and....). Give Yourself the Gift of Massage
Massage is steeped in emotional benefits. The most obvious is its reduction of tension and stress. A brief massage can bring about a deep sense of peace and relaxation. In fact, some studies have found that massage can stimulate the production of chemicals such as serotonin, which are related to the body's innate relaxation response. In a word, massage makes you feel good.Diffuse Your Stress with Exercise
One of the best antidotes for stress is physical activity. Exercise not only works the stress out of your muscles, it also stimulates your body's creation of feel-good endorphins.
A mile of walking--at any speed--burns as many calories as a mile of running, and I've rarely heard of people injuring muscles, ligaments, or joints while walking. I recommend walking every day for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. To really up the stress-busting benefits, walk with a friend. Sharing time with those you love is a wonderful part of the holidays, so why not walk off the stress together.Look at the Glass as Half Full
Research has found that optimists are not only happier, they're also healthier, live longer, and recover from illnesses better than those with less cheery outlooks. One way to start each day on the right foot is to think about what you are grateful for. However, don't just rattle off a list. Really take the time to contemplate your feelings about each thing and internalize how each positive feature makes your life better. Breathe!
Proper breathing is one way to reduce stress. The next time you feel stressed take a deep breath and sigh deeply. After several breaths, you should be aware of how much more you need to breathe and how much relief it offers you.
In short, offset the stress with the tips I've given you, and remember that, first and foremost, the holidays are a time of joy, gratitude, and love. This is by far the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones!