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.

Frustrated dad looking at receipts and bills during Christmas time

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:

  1. WALK IN THE MORNING—make some time for yourself when the rest of your world (i.e., your family) is still sleeping.
  1. 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.
  1. BREATHE—throughout the day take a few minutes of deep, relaxing breathing by:
    1. Breathe in for 4 counts.
    2. Hold your breath for 4 counts.
    3. Release your breath for 6 counts.

This method of breathing quickly reduces stress and calms your central nervous system.

  1. 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!
  1. 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.
  1. PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS—everyday look to help someone who needs a helping hand and discover the benefits of a practice of gratitude

Ladies Night Out: Tips for a Healthy, Stress Free Holiday Season

No sweets for me for holidays

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but for some it can be stressful. Join Touro Nutritionist Julie Fortenberry and Kay Morrison, the owner of the Occasional Wife, for tips on how to manage stress and enjoy yourself this holiday season. Also, learn how to avoid that dreadful holiday weight gain and how to remain healthy.

The Occasional Wife
Thursday, December 8, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
3036 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118
Click here to register or call (504) 897-8500.

headshotRobert 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.

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