Ahh, the holidays. It's the end of the year. Again. Time to look back and reflect on what we've accomplished over the past 12 months. Yes? No?
Oh yeah. Who has time for reflection? When there is so MUCH to DO?! Who created these holidays anyway? And why do they have to be so close together?
Whatever your situation, whatever your thoughts, most of us have some sort of stress, that doubles, triples, or more, during the last couple months of the year. Every year. No matter how hard we try to simplify this year, things come up. And keep coming up and don't stop until the middle of January. Am I right?
We need stress. If we didn't have stress, we probably wouldn't get anything done. We definitely wouldn't have any muscles or strength. Stress on our body is what makes it strong. We typically refer to stress on our muscles as exercise. So, we need to have stress, or opposition in all things. But what do we do when the stress, or opposition, become negative stress? As it often does throughout the holiday season.
Even those of us who think we have it covered, under control, will typically have more negative stress than they realize.
Negative stress manifests itself in a variety of ways. Insomnia, sleeping too much, headaches, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, irritability, moodiness, anger, increased or decreased appetite, etc.
If you, or someone you love, suffers from these symptoms, it could be a sign of negative stress.
During the holidays, even if we are looking forward to certain events, i.e., family gatherings, company parties, singing in the choir, attending Christmas performances/services, buying and giving gifts, preparing meals, playing in the snow, many of these things bring on negative stress, even though they can be, and usually are, enjoyable.
But what to do? There are many things that can be done to alleviate, manage negative stress, depending on your preferences and hobbies. There are definitely a few tried and true stress relieving activities, that will help anyone.
1. Exercise. When I refer to exercise in this regard, I am not suggesting a marathon. Quite the contrary. Moderate, easy, move around a lot at a slow pace, exercise is the key here. You want your body to relax, to rejuvenate, to revive. Rather than beating it to death, creating even more negative stress, it's time to let go and unwind. A casual walk (don't get too fatigued). A 20 minute session of easy yoga. An enjoyable bike ride. A short hike, up an easy path. Mix these up several times a week, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.
2. Connect with a trusted, true friend or family member. Someone you can be yourself with, laugh with, completely relax with. Go to lunch, a movie, on a walk (any of the above activities), or just have a cup of hot chocolate and relax together for 20 minutes. It's amazing how connecting wth someone will bring down your stress levels.
3. Get a massage. There are a plethora of studies out there that support the idea that massage therapy reduces stress. I like to think of it this way. We eat every day., putting our teeth at risk of cavities and decay. Thus, we brush our teeth every day to ward off the disease. We also see (or should see) our dentist every 6 months for the same reason.
So, we use our muscles every day. We stress our muscles every day. We should exercise every day, stretch, rejuvenate, to release that stress and prevent injury. (That would be brushing our teeth to prevent cavities). And getting a regular massage is like seeing the dentist every 6 months. A massage should happen more often than that since our muscles get tight so quickly, and our stress levels are so high.
Good things to think about. So, go out, go for a walk, move, call a friend, and get a massage.
We pride ourselves on our knowledge and expertise to achieve immediate and longer lasting results than a typical Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage but with little to no pain during your session. Your experience will be as enjoyable as a relaxing massage with deep tissue results.