Posts Tagged by exercise

5 Tips for Coping With Holiday Stress

The holidays are getting into full swing and with that comes STRESS!!  Holiday parties, cookies, shopping, family, crowds…it’s easy to get lost in it all and burn yourself out.  But it’s important to take a step back, relax and remember what the holidays are really about.    

Here are 5 tips to help you cope with the holiday stress and so you can start off the New Year with a bang!

Coping-Tips-for-Holiday-Stress

1. Plan

Start thinking about the holidays early. If you are hosting a party, start planning out your menu a few weeks ahead of time. To avoid the store crowds, make a list of your loved ones who you need to buy for well in advance and plan to find their favorite items online. The packed malls in December are enough to drive anyone insane!

2. Prioritize

There are things that we MUST do during the holidays and things we WANT to do. Often it can be hard to differentiate between the two. By prioritizing what needs to get done, you can finish those important tasks first, like buying a gift for your Grandmother, so you have time leftover to do some of those things you want to do, like volunteering at a soup kitchen.

3. Exercise

When all of these holiday obligations begin to pile up, exercise can often be the first thing to take a back seat. Make this one of your priorities! Not only can exercise burn off extra calories so you can enjoy those gingerbread men, but it also boosts your endorphins to help get you in the holiday spirit. You can even get creative with your exercise, like adding squats in as you decorate your tree!

4. Sleep

Like exercise, sleep is another one of those things that is less of a priority when we are busy. Skipping an hour or two of sleep to get a few extra things done over the holidays can actually do more harm than good. It can affect your metabolism and actually increase your stress level all on itโ€™s own. Make a point to keep up with 7 to 8 hours of good sleep a night.

5. Indulge

Yes, indulge! Trying to stay away from that plate of holiday cookies or that pitcher of eggnog can be very stressful and often lead to overeating of seemingly healthier options. Allow yourself to indulge a bit this time of year and enjoy the time with your friends and family. You donโ€™t have to go overboard, but a small slice of pumpkin pie or a helping of those buttery mashed potatoes is sure to put a smile on your face and take some of that holiday stress away.

I hope you enjoy the holiday season and don’t let stress get in the way of the real meaning of this season…to enjoy and appreciate your loved ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

***This post was originally written and posted for FitFluential.  Click here for the original post.***

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Anxiety or Excitement?

I have a big trip coming up.  I’m heading to Colorado for a few days to visit family, then I’m off to Disneyland to run the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge!  I’ve been planning this trip since January when I signed up for the race so I’m super excited that it’s finally here. However, as usual for me before I travel I’m a bundle of nerves, but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two emotions.  Am I freaking out about traveling or an am super excited to finally get to see Sleeping Beauty Castle?  

Here’s a little back story on my travel anxiety.  Until my early twenties, I LOVED to travel. I’ve been all over the United States and have made numerous trips to Europe, including a summer semester abroad in Dublin.  Flying was exciting, travel was an adventure!  I couldn’t wait to take my next trip.  Then September 11th happened.  I only lived 5 blocks from the World Trade Center on that day and I was trapped in my apartment for several hours.  It was one of the most terrifying days of my life and unfortunately it sparked a new anxiety within me.  Call it the fear of the unknown, the fear of being trapped, the fear of not being in control, or all of the above.  I would become paralyzed with fear in certain situations.  Riding the subway, driving through tunnels or over bridges, and the thought of flying was out of the question.  I actually went 5 years without flying and even made B drive to Florida for our honeymoon…he’s such a saint!

Through medication and some sheer will power I have started traveling again, but it’s not easy.  The longest flights I’ve been on in recent years are just over 2 hours to Orlando and those are often difficult to get through.  So you can imagine my anxiety about going all the way out to Califorina.  Gaaaaahhhhhh!!  Since about Tuesday, my stomach has been in knots and my head has been going around in circles.    Anxiety up, then down, excitement up, excitement down, repeat.  A roller coaster of emotions!  And don’t even get me started with what this does to my digestive system.  Sigh….

Here are a few ways of I’ve found to get relaxed before flying:

Lift Heavy Things

Exercise is always highly therapeutic and proven to take your mind off streesful situations. Never underestimate the power of sweat!  For me, I love to challenge myself and lift heavy things!  If I can lift 98# over my head, I can surely get through these flights.

Clean-and-Jerk

Cuddle with Cats

Pet therapy is the best therapy!  There isn’t much that a strong purr and a soft belly can’t fix, especially when you’re not feeling your best.    

Cat-Cuddle

 Get Organized

Chaos feeds into my anxiety, so the more organized I can make my packing the better.  I like to get a list together and get everything set in the guest room before I pack it.  This way, I wont forget anything while away and it gives me some sense of control.

Packing

 

I’m still freaking out a bit about traveling, but I’m surprisingly doing pretty well today. Just relaxing and taking it easy.  This trip is a HUGE step for me into getting back to normal and being able to travel the world again.  I want to see and experience all that life has to offer…I can’t let this stupid anxiety control my life.  Hopefully pretty soon the excitement will be the only butterflies in my stomach leading up to a trip ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you deal with anxiety?  How do you manage?

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