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The Best Ways To Wind Down After The Holiday Craze

For many people, especially parents who also play host to family and friends during the holidays, January can be a welcome relief. The stresses of the holidays are over. But after the holiday season, there are still a lot of stressors, such as snow, traffic, and high energy bills. Take steps now to conquer the stress of late winter by using some of these de-stressing techniques. Keep calm and enjoy the empty house!

  • Use Breathing Exercises: The simple act of controlling one’s breath in and out can almost immediately relax a person. Take five minutes for yourself and literally just breathe.
  • Yoga or Meditation: One step above the breathing exercise is actual mediation, which can be done in many forms. Yoga is both a physical and mental act. Mediation in general can help to de-clutter your mind.
  • Hit the Gym: You wouldn’t necessarily think that exercising would relax you, but it does in the long term. Go outside and take a run if you can. If you can’t, it may be time to consider a gym membership. Work out your muscles and stiff joints and you’ll feel better.
  • Unplug: Give yourself a day of no social media, TV, computer usage, or phones. Just unplug and forget looking at any screen. Relax and read a book instead.
  • Get a Massage: Splurge one more time this holiday season and make the investment in your health by getting a massage. You don’t have to go crazy and spend thousands on a spa day; a simple massage can go a long way. If you really can’t afford it, you can give yourself an awesome, small massage of specific, high-tension areas of your body with these techniques.
  • Get Vitamin D: Not all of us have seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), but most of us are affected by the change in seasons. Many of us lose energy when the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter. You can counteract this by soaking in about ten to 15 minutes of sunlight every day outside or by taking a vitamin D supplement to make sure you’re not losing energy.
  • Use Lavender: Invest in lavender-scented candles, lotions, or sprays, as this scent is known for having stress-relieving properties. This simple bit of aromatherapy can help you relax more on a day-to-day basis.
  • Drink Calming Teas: Peppermint and chamomile are teas that can help calm those who might be suffering from anxiety, which might have been aggravated due to hosting or traveling. Green, black, or oolong tea contains a chemical called L-theanine that can calm the mind and relieve anger as well.
  • Manage Your Sleep: In the wintertime, people sometimes get too much or too little sleep. Try your best to schedule and clock in those eight hours. If you’re having trouble, try making sure you’re not looking at a screen right before bed, as this can hinder your sleep efforts.
  • Eat Better: You’re likely trying to keep up with a new year’s resolution anyway, but eating better to reduce stress isn’t necessarily about losing weight. Bad food stresses you out, and during the holiday season, we eat a lot of bad food. Cleanse with juices and greens for a few days.
  • Manage Your Social Situation: Sometimes, people are surrounded by other people during the holidays, and they just need to get away. Those people should schedule some alone time away from everyone, even their closest family. Conversely, if someone feels very lonely during the holidays, it might be time to reach out and make a few phone calls to the people they care about.
  • Keep a Journal: Even if you write, “Today, I felt terrible,” then you are one step closer to conquering (or sometimes simply understanding) your emotions.
  • Play With a Pet: Whether it’s your own pet or someone else’s, cuddling with a dog or cat can make you smile. Dog owners have been proven to be less stressed than those who don’t own a dog.
  • Clean the Post-Holiday Mess: I personally find cleaning meditative, naturally. (You might disagree.) But knowing that my house is clean after the holidays always makes me relax a little.
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