The holidays are in full swing and there's no doubt that along with the joy it can add some extra stress to our lives. With only a few days left before Christmas and Hanukkah already begun most of us have a lot on our plates. The goal is to enjoy this time that we have with our friends, families and many others. It's also not good for our bodies to remain in a constant state of stress. Stress can lead to a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure.
Here are a few ways to help you remain a little more stress free the next two weeks.
1) Meditate: Take 10 minutes to sit comfortably and relax. Close your eyes and imagine being in your favorite place. What is the scenery? Whose there? What are the sounds? Focus on your breathing. Breathe in for 10 seconds and out for 10 seconds. After 10 minutes remember your "happy place" throughout the day.
2) Exercise: Even a solid 20 minutes can help. Get your heart rate up and clear your head. Focus your energy on your workout and its likely you'll find a clear head afterward. I love a good kick boxing session when I'm stressed. I feel 100 times better when I'm finished. On the opposite spectrum, take a yoga class. During that hour think about all the things you are fortunate for during this time.
3) Sleep: Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I know you probably feel that you don't have time to sleep. However, without adequate sleep you'll may feel more agitated when you begin to face the day. It will be that much harder to get things accomplished. Also, you need good sleep to keep your immune system running at its' best. There's no time for you to be getting sick.
4) Smile: I began a little something at the beginning of this month. I made sure I smiled all the time even when I was stressed. I smile at the random people at the grocery store, the people you come to a stand off with and have to debate whose going to move right (you should laugh it really is a funny situation) and anyone that looks sad. I noticed that almost everyone has smiled or laughed back. It made me happy and hopefully made someone else happy too. This is supposed to be a time of joy. Put that smile on your face and be happy. It's infectious :)
Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.