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Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 4:30 PM
 

While the holiday season can be an exciting time, it's no secret that it can also be very stressful. From the financial strain of buying gifts, to running between holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and holiday performances, studies have shown that many people have elevated stress levels during the holiday season.

While the holidays are stressful, it is important to remember to stay mindful and practise self-care during this busy season. This blog post will discuss different ways you can practise self-care. Don't let the stress get to you!

NHPC massage therapist working on a client's neck

Meditate

Taking just ten minutes out of your day to meditate can have a positive impact on your holiday stress. Meditation can help reverse the effects of stress and anxiety in the body by decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones, including cortisol.

It encourages deep breathing and helps quiet the mind to bring about relaxation and restful sleep. Deeper, more restful sleep can help you take on the busy days with more energy. Practising meditation can promote a calm mind and keep you more centred during times of stress.

Get a Massage

The holiday season is busy, and while it may feel like there is no time to take an hour out of your day to get a massage, it is well worth your time.

Massage therapy can lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels. It can also relax your muscles, causing an increase in endorphins or your body's natural "feel-good" chemicals.

Massage therapy also increases blood flow, which boosts the immune system and helps your body fight off the cold and flu bugs that are more abundant at this time of the year.

The stress release from a massage can have a positive effect on your overall state of mind and help make the holiday season a little less stressful!

Have a Reiki Treatment

Reiki is an energy healing technique that can promote healing by balancing the body's energy centres. When your body's energy is out of balance, you may feel heightened anxiety, stress, and depression.

Reiki promotes deep relaxation and natural healing within the body by removing energy blockages and maintaining the body's emotional equilibrium. After a reiki treatment, you'll feel more grounded, calm, and refreshed; you'll be ready to take on the holiday season.

Use Acupressure and Aromatherapy

In times where it feels like stress has completely taken over your body, consider using acupressure and aromatherapy to calm yourself. Both acupressure and aromatherapy can be used for immediate stress reduction and are helpful during times of high stress.

Lavender oil can calm anxiety brought on by holiday stress by impacting the part of the brain that controls emotions. Adding a few drops of lavender oil to a hot bath, or using it in a diffuser, can be an effective way to unwind after a long day.

Chamomile is another essential oil known for its calming effect. Massaging diluted chamomile oil into your skin during times of high stress, or adding it to a warm bath or diffuser will help calm you down.

The uplifting scent of lemon oil has soothing and restorative properties. Using lemon balm can help decrease anxiety and improve sleep, while diffusing it can add a fresh scent to your entire room that can improve your mood.

There are several different acupressure points that can be used to help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. The Yin Tang point — or "third eye" — is located on the bridge of the nose, directly between the eyes. Pressing on this point and massaging in a circular motion can help calm anxiety, agitation, insomnia, and stress.

Pressing on the ying tang acupressure point.

The Shan Zhong — or Conception Vessel 17 point — is located in the depression on the middle on the chest. Pressing this point can help resolve anxiety, panic, and heart palpitations. Pressing this point while breathing deeply before bed is also a great way to relieve stress from the holiday season.

Pressing on the shan zhong acupressure point.

While the holiday season can be stressful and busy, remember that it is just as important to take time for your self as it is attending holiday parties and buying gifts for your loved ones.

Practising self-care will improve your overall well-being and help you better enjoy the time spent with your friends and family during the holidays.

We would like to wish everyone a happy, stress-free holiday season!