Stress management and self-care are crucial this time of the year. With the holiday season upon us, we need to ensure that we are taking care of our physical and mental health needs. The holidays can tend to be an emotional time for us. We are dealing with anxiety, discomfort, and sometimes baggage. The pressure of gift-giving and holiday hosting is enough to put anyone over the edge. Now we need to think of the financial costs associated with this. If you are dealing with or caring for a loved one with chronic illness this also makes the yuletide stressful. All this coupled with COVID-19 can be a major hurdle. Learn how to avoid stress and manage self-care during covid-19.
What is the best way to nourish your soul and get relief from these stresses? We put together a few wellness and self-care ideas that we find tried and true.
Take your vitamins
Many vitamins and supplements help aid in reducing stress and anxiety. Valerian root is a gentle alternative to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness. You can lift your mood with the use of B-Complex. Licorice Root can optimize cortisol. It also can reduce the negative effects of stress on immune function. Also, don’t forget your vitamin C daily. Keep those colds away and let them help with your mood and anxiety levels. Take your vitamin D to reduce depression and fight disease. Did you know that 80% of COVID-19 patients were vitamin D deficient? This in itself is a great reason to make sure you are meeting your vitamin D requirements.
Getting those vitamins in can certainly help with your wellness. Before you get started speak to your physician or nutrition professional. They can develop a more specific plan to help optimize your health.
Eat the right foods
The holidays are a great excuse to use when eating habits go awry. With small gatherings or holiday dinners, it’s easy to lose track of eating right. If you are dealing with a chronic condition, eating the wrong foods can be risky. If you’re a diabetic, eating well is the key to managing blood sugar. For someone who has diabetes, look more to the green and colorful non-starchy vegetables. You want to go for tart fruit like berries, and avoid starchy produce. Healthy eating also improves mood. In 2016, researchers found that diets with a high glycemic load may trigger increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. Controlling portions are also important during the holidays.
Take a new approach
Dealing with those family members who get on your nerves can be a real bummer during the holiday season. Re-evaluate your interaction and response to them. It’s mind over matter. Instead of handling it the same way you do every year getting the same unsatisfactory result, try something new. Stop and think about the situation. Depending on the circumstance, approaching it with humor can lighten the mood. We know those family members who try to get under your skin. You can try a new approach by setting your boundaries or not engaging. Go in with a plan of action – when we take control of our emotions we work in the direction of healthier outcomes.
We know that COVID-19 has taken a toll on many of us, both physically and mentally. How can we take this bad situation and make it better? The solution would be to get involved. There is nothing more rewarding than volunteering and helping others that are less fortunate. There are many options this time of the year that you can do via social distancing. Reach out to your community, religious, or social groups to see what they have to offer. Maybe it’s a food drive, sponsor holiday gifts for a family, or arrange a coat drive. Doing more for others in need not only makes you appreciate the things in your life but gives you a sense of purpose. Lift your spirits this season and others too! Tis the season.
Take a breather
It’s holiday time! Take time to enjoy what this season has to offer. Schedule time to watch that funny movie and get your laugh on. Some funny favorites are Elf, Eight Crazy Nights, Die Hard, or Scrooged, even Jingle All the Way. Or those classics, like White Christmas, Babes in Toyland or Meet Me in St. Louis. You know what they say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” It also strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, and is a great form of stress release.
Not in the mood for a movie? Get to the gym, take a winter hike, grab a friend for a walk and check out the holiday lights in your area. It’s key to get some exercise in and focus on yourself and your mental health. You want to try and get at least 20 minutes of activity in and feel more energized. Don’t want to leave your home to get active – try a mini stepper or watch your favorite movie and use an exercise peddler.
Drinking water is so important. There are many benefits to increasing your water intake. It’s beneficial by giving you proper hydration, removing toxins and curbing your hunger. Many fruits and vegetables provide water to your system. Another idea is drinking teas to maximize your benefits. You can break out that green, chamomile, and peppermint teas to unwind from the day to day stresses.
We hope this has been a helpful cheat sheet to get you through this unusual holiday / COVID-19 season. We are in this together so if you have any suggestions you would like to share, please comment on this post.