As we gear up for a week filled with family, food, catching up with old friends and celebrating the season, times will certainly be jolly but more than likely, they’ll get a little tense too. In fact, past studies done by the American Psychological Association have shown that women get more stressed than men during the holidays due to home responsibilities, and because of this are more likely to fall into bad health habits, like comfort eating.
So if your Aunt Ida has one too many and starts spouting off at the mouth about your silverware choices (yet again) or you don’t know how you’ll possibly be able to finish all of your shopping before Santa’s sleigh rolls into town, take this tip from davidji, apprentice to Deepak Chopra and author of Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace and Personal Transformation to SODA. And no, we don’t mean the drink!
- S: Stop whatever you are doing.
- O: Observe the moment and take a deep breath to calm yourself down.
- D: Detach yourself from any drama taking place. Literally, take a step back!
- A: Awaken to your best self. Ask yourself, “How would the best version of me respond to this?”
Feel better yet? Happy holidays from the FITNESS team and here’s to a happy and healthy 2013!
More from FITNESS: The 10 Best Resolutions to Make
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Holidays stress making you angry? Try one (or a few) of these 30 simple ways to be happier. — iVillage
- It’s the perfect time of year to think about giving back. Get inspired to perform one of these six good deeds (which take about as long as two commercial breaks). — Divine Caroline
- Save some dough this season by making these gifts with items in your kitchen. — SparkPeople
- “What’s the problem officer?” Bad for your blood pressure, but better for your bank account: Drivers are being pulled over for good behavior. — Today Show
- How The Biggest Losers—and you—can keep the weight off for good. — L.A. Times
- Ouch! Follow these steps to make sure running doesn’t cramp your style. — Fit Bottomed Girls
Holidays stressing you out? Spa treatments and therapeutic massages are great ways to relax, but with all the gifts you’re buying for those on your list, you might feel so guilty about spending the money on yourself that you skip the treatments altogether. During the high-stress time of the holiday season, many of us need relief now more than ever. Thankfully there are plenty of cheap and easy ways to relax and relieve the tension.
Bathe in Espsom Salts
These very inexpensive salts can be found at just about any supermarket. Add two cups to your bath water to relax your muscle tension, detox your system, and aid in sleep and relaxation.
Learn to Meditate
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s nothing hippy-dippy about meditation. All it means is sitting comfortably in a quiet place and clearing your mind of all thoughts. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing; if a thought enters your mind, simply acknowledge it but don’t entertain it. Try it for five minutes the first time, then slowly ramp up the length of your sessions.
Let the Tension Out
Try relieving the tension in your body with a method called progressive muscle relaxation. Sit with your back straight, your feet on the floor, and your hands in your lap. Tighten each muscle group (your neck, shoulders, etc.) for 20 seconds, then relax it slowly. Start at the head and work down the body to the feet.
We all know that exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, pick an especially repetitive activity, like walking, running, or rowing. You can lose yourself in your thoughts and focus on the rhythm.