Reducing Holiday Stress:
Robert Gardner, Ph.D., LPC
The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness. However, it can also be a time when we experience increased stress due to a busy schedule of shopping, cooking, entertaining, traveling, and other holiday-related activities.
If we don’t take care of ourselves and do something to offset our stressful feelings, then we can miss out on the joy that the holiday season brings.
There are things we all can do to reduce our stress during the holidays.
Here are six simple stress-relieving steps to a more joyous holiday season:
- WALK IN THE MORNING
Make some time for yourself when the rest of your world (i.e., your family) is still sleeping.
- TAKE TIME FOR TEA
If you’re a coffee drinker, try hot tea during the holidays as the caffeine and polyphenols in tea have the combined effect of mild stimulation and lasting calm.
Throughout the day take a few minutes of deep, relaxing breathing by:
- Breathe in for 4 counts.
- Hold your breath for 4 counts.
- Release your breath for 6 counts.
This method of breathing quickly reduces stress and calms your central nervous system.
- TIME OUT
Take a break from demanding tasks (i.e., shopping, cleaning, cooking) and difficult people (i.e., the family member who rubs you the wrong way) and do something that nurtures you!
- BE KIND TO YOUR FEET
Fill a bucket with warm water and add some drops of rosemary and peppermint oil and place a couple golf balls in the bucket as well; then soak and massage your feet and calm your entire being.
- PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS
Everyday look to help someone who needs a helping hand and discover the benefits of a practice of gratitude.
Robert Gardner, Ph.D., LPC is Director of Psychosocial Oncology at Touro Infirmary and administers all aspects of Touro’s Supportive Cancer Care Center. Dr. Gardner earned his Ph.D.. from the University of New Orleans in 2008. He completed his Internship at Tulane Cancer Center in 2005, where he also served as Clinical Mental Health Counselor from 2006 – 2008. Dr. Gardner is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Louisiana.