8 Quick Stress-Relieving Techniques For A Jolly Holiday

The emotional-freedom technique, commonly referred to as “tapping,” is a simple, yet powerful way to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. You’ll use your fingers to “tap” 9 specific meridian points on your body in a certain sequence that sends calming signals to the stress and emotion processing part of the brain. Since this is a portable mood-boosting technique that’s available to you anywhere and anytime, it makes a wonderful start to the 15-minute stress-relieving techniques in this article.

1. Chew sugarless gum.

Chewing gum is a great way to deal with stress during the holiday season. Have a packet with you everywhere you go so that if you’re ever stuck in annoying traffic or are frantically cleaning before your in-laws arrive, you can just grab a pellet and let out all your pent-up energy as you chew. To protect your teeth and your health, make sure you stock up on the sugar-free varieties, especially those with xylitol which is known to help prevent cavities.

2. Drink stress-reducing tea.

When you need to chase the stress monster away and get your jolly back, try reaching for a cup of stress-reducing tea. From classic chamomile teas and herbal tonics to meditative matcha, this beverage has a wonderful way of soothing the nerves, calming the mind, and promoting wellness and relaxation. Even the simple act of taking a moment to prepare a cup of tea itself relieves stress and reduces anxiety.

3. Do a tactile activity.

Stress-relieving techniques have one thing in common: they all try to get you out of your head and bring you into the present moment. With a tactile activity, you try to focus your attention on your sense of touch. Popping bubble wrap, rubbing different textures against your skin, or handling pets are a few examples of stress-relieving tactile activities you can try this holiday season.

4. Go for a walk.

Take the family dog out to stretch her legs or walk around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. A quick stroll (or any type of exercise, really) increases your endorphin levels and improves your overall mood. Walking is also a great way to balance out all the many seasonal treats you’ll eat this indulgent festive season.

5. Talk in the third person.

When you refer to yourself in the third person, it creates a little separation in your mind that allows you to see yourself the way someone else might see you. Having this mental “step-back” is an effective way to keep emotions balanced. You may run the risk of appearing a little crazy to your family and friends, but try talking to yourself in the third person. Ask yourself, “Why is Sarah upset?” instead of, “Why am I upset?” and notice how different your emotional response becomes.

6. Develop a stretching routine.

You don’t need to own a fancy yoga mat, blocks, or a strap to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of stretching. Just 15 minutes or less doing a couple of forward bends and inversions can have a calming effect. If you’d like to also release some pent-up emotional energy, these hip and shoulder openers may do that for you.

7. Practice mindfulness.

No need for a weekend trip to a health farm or a two-hour session with a zen master to help gain some serenity during this always-hectic holiday season. You won’t even have to clear your mind, either. By practicing mindfulness, you can anchor yourself to the present moment and focus on what you can control. Try this simple visualization technique or this quick body scan meditation before that Christmas dinner where you know your brother-in-law will undoubtedly get on your nerves.

8. Write it down on paper.

Putting what you’re feeling on a page gives you a positive way to let out your emotions. It’s also a wonderful stress-relieving technique. Try writing about holiday finances, relatives-sleeping-over worries, or even peeves about your family members or kids. Seeing what you come up with may just help put things into perspective and (hopefully) result in a merrier time.

Your dentist can help you deal with holiday stress.

Humans hold a lot of their stress in the neck, shoulders, and facial area. Some may even experience soreness or fatigue in the jaw area. Massaging your jaw with your fingertips for a few minutes several times a day can improve mouth mobility and offer pain relief.

In cases where you experience too much discomfort, a dentist can prescribe muscle relaxers. But if the pain is the result of jaw clenching and teeth grinding, getting a  custom mouthguard made during your next appointment with us is a more effective soothing technique. It’s our hope that the stress-relieving techniques in this article help you have a more jolly holiday season.