5 Ways to Help Curb Holiday Stress

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Holiday Stress, All in moderation

With holiday parties, crowded shopping malls, and baked delicious treats, it’s no wonder that so many people experience stress during this season. Here are some ways to help beat holiday stress:


The simplest way to activate the body’s relaxation response is through focused breathing. This will leave your body calm and relaxed. Deep breathing (via the abdomen) will increase the oxygen supply to your brain and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. So the next time you find yourself in a line-up, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds.

All in moderation

Stress does a funny thing – it actually increases our appetite. Given that the best treats are often made this time of year, we can easily overindulge. This becomes a vicious cycle as gaining a few pounds can lead to more stress. A healthy solution: have protein-rich snacks on hand (mixed nuts and a clementine, or hummus and veggies) and eat fairly regularly (don’t go over 3 hours without eating). Also, while it’s unrealistic to avoid all those holiday treats remember the 80/20 rule – 80% healthy and 20% indulgence.


Oftentimes it’s nice to bundle-up, get outside and take in the fresh air. High intensity exercise can actually raise cortisol levels, so elevate your holiday spirits with nourishing activities such as walking or yoga.

Being grateful

The simplest way to boost our mood and decrease stress is to remember and appreciate what we have. My favourite way to attract more positive energy into our lives is to write down 3 things that I’m grateful for each day.


The holidays usually have us thinking about other people, so it’s very common to not think of ourselves. Whether it be a massage, an at home Epsom-salt bath, or even a good book, it’s important to have ‘me’ time. Moreover, if you are feeling sad and/or lonely this time of season, it’s important to reach out to family, friends, or even a healthcare professional.

Best Wishes

We are wishing you all the very best during this holiday season, and are available if you need to take some time for yourself to breathe and destress.

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© 2014 Odessa Gill

© 2014 Odessa Gill | Natural Fertility Clinic Toronto West
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