Enjoy a stress-free holiday in the Mid-Atlantic States
The holiday season is here — time for cozy fireplaces, fresh-baked cookies, and leisurely days off with loved ones. But it can also mean crowded shopping malls, heavier traffic on the beltway and I-95, and the stress and anxiety that can accompany them. This time of year, it’s important to find ways to help relax your mind and body — so you can reduce stress and enjoy the holiday season.
The mind-body connection
Your mind and body are linked to one another. When you feel stressed, your body reacts by releasing hormones that cause your heart to beat faster, your muscles to tense up, and your blood vessels to narrow. But when you have positive thoughts, your brain produces substances, such as endorphins and oxytocin, that boost your immune system. If you approach stressful situations with a positive frame of mind, your blood vessels will remain open and you’re more likely to maintain good health.
It’s critical to pay attention to the mind-body connection — and find ways to reframe negative thoughts. Try using the following tips to help reduce stress and maintain a positive outlook.
Relax your mind
- Listen to soothing music
- Practice mindful meditation
- Take slow deep breaths or try other breathing exercises for relaxation
- Use guided imagery to imagine yourself in a space that makes you feel calm and relaxed
- Write your feelings down and take time to reflect
Relax your body
- Get a massage
- Have a warm drink without alcohol or caffeine, such as herbal tea or warm milk
- Practice yoga or do some simple stretches
- Soak in a warm bath
- Take a walk
- Try progressive muscle relaxation by tensing and relaxing each muscle group
Remember to schedule time to relax — that way you can avoid stress, feel your best, and make the most of the holidays.
In the Spotlight – Find out what’s happening in your area: