5 Surprising Natural Remedies For Anxiety You’ve Got To Try!

Daily, there are millions of people taking medication for depression, anxiety and/or practicing stress-reductions techniques. Generally, experts recommend the same handful of suggestions as natural remedies for anxiety. Those suggestions can be effective, but here are 5 more that may surprise you!

Tried and True

By and large, health practitioners similarly advocate a few main elements to de-stress. These include:

  • Getting more rest
  • Improving dietary habits
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Seeking therapy or counseling

Clearly, this is sound advice. As a result, it’s been proven helpful to many. But, did you know there are at least five other natural remedies for anxiety that may help, too?

No Surprise!

The standard strategies for relieving stress are fairly well known. For example, if you cut down on sugar and caffeine, you’ll sleep better. If you exercise more fervently, your endorphin levels should increase. Therapy, along with behavior- and thinking-pattern changes, should benefit your overall wellbeing. Ultimately, practicing these techniques should make you feel better and less anxious.

Yes! Surprise Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Some folks are just not comfortable with taking medication. Additionally, medication may not be the “cure all” for others. Hence, experimenting with natural remedies is often the go-to solution.

Most noteworthy, whatever works for you (within healthy bounds) is the most awesome choice. Everyone is different and one organic stress-reliever may work for you. But not for someone else. And, vice versa. 

Let’s explore some anti-anxiety strategies that may seem revelatory…

#1 Tennis Anyone?

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong can be a definite stress reliever. This sport requires concentration, strategy, and distinct body movement. These elements force your mind to attend. You can’t possibly harp on your worries while you’re playing ping-pong!

Aside from that, you can actually get real exercise! Table tennis can increase your seratonin and dopamine levels. This action can boost your mood, better your sleep quality, and improve your attention span. How about that for an anti-anxiety activity?

Bonus: Ping-pong as exercise has a low risk of injury.

#2 Lemons Don’t Have to Be Sour

Actually, it’s LEMONGRASS that we’re addressing here. To take it a step further, it’s really lemongrass essential oil that’s the hero. It has the ability to be one of the natural remedies for anxiety. That what makes it sweet.

Lemongrass essential oil has many significant, health-enhancing properties. Many Thai and Chinese dishes use lemongrass in their recipes. The oil is extracted through steam distillation from the leaves. The oil has been known to decrease pain, but also counter feelings of depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it has the ability to act as a sedative. It can boost spirits and help alleviate anxiety. Lemongrass essential oil can be used in a diffuser, inhaled, or applied (diluted) to the skin. One of our favorite lemongrass natural remedies for anxiety can be found here.

 

Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz
Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz

 

#3 Put On A Happy Face

Believe it or not, smiling makes you feel good, even when it’s forced. You may not feel like smiling, but research has shown that when you smile or laugh, “feel good” chemicals are generated.

The brain releases dopamine when we smile. The simple action of pulling up the corners of your mouth is one of the natural remedies for anxiety. Smiling makes us feel happy, makes others feel happy, and can help relieve stress with no cost. Smile at yourself in the mirror and feel your worries fade away.

#4 Let Them Bake Cake!

Sometimes we stress eat. Cake is yummy, but eating it won’t make you as happy as if you bake it!

Baking requires focus with all its measuring, mixing, etc. Hence, it provides a mental escape from stressful thoughts. It can also be a great form of creative expression. Decorating the finished product can also be a feel-good activity. Also noteworthy, baking a cake for someone else can make the effort more significant. Anyway you look at it, baking a cake is a positive remedy for relieving anxiety.

#5 Desktop Tidy Time

A huge source of stress can come from clutter. Oftentimes, the stacks of papers or the massive amount of files overwhelm us. Cleaning and organizing can actually have a positive therapeutic effect.

Choose one section of your desktop and commit to combing through. When we organize, cortisol levels have been shown to decrease. Furthermore, you may want to try and finish an unfinished project. Cleaning may distract you from anxiety. Yet, the results may be equally relaxing and fulfilling.

 

Different people will choose various strategies in an attempt to decrease tension. Consequently, you will pick what works best for you. Hopefully, one or more of these natural remedies for anxiety will benefit you. Here’s to happiness!

Click HERE for more articles on lowering stress and maintaining best health.

 

Sources:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html

https://medium.com/@ttdementor/how-table-tennis-can-cure-stress-burnout-767c8e932ce

https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-scares-depression-anxiety-boosts-moodstates/

http://www.businessinsider.com/baking-could-help-you-relieve-stress-2017-4

Feeling Stressed or Anxious? You’re not Alone

Do you often feel fatigued, tense, irritable, and nervous? These are all common symptoms of stress and anxiety. Although you may feel alone, the diagnosis of anxiety disorders and depression is on the rise in the United States.

Mental Health Studies

According to a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association, 35% of participants reported a chronic feeling of “nervousness and anxiety.”

By 2015, this number increased to 42%. Furthermore, “constant worrying” increased from 28% to 33%, with “feeling depressed or sad” increasing from 32% to 37%.

Additional statistics to note:

  • Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, younger generations are reporting higher levels of stress.
  • The American Institute of Stress reported that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms of stress. Also, 48% feel that their stress level has increased over the past five years.
  • According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 6 million people suffer from panic disorder, while 15 million suffer from social anxiety disorder.
  • The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18% of the population.

What Does this Data Mean?

First things first, if you’re concerned that you suffer from stress, anxiety, and/or depression, remember this: you are not alone. Also, since more attention is being drawn to mental health concerns, there is a greater probability of finding a treatment strategy that generates positive results.

While help is available, there’s another statistic that is a bit worrisome: only one-third (approximately) of people suffering from an anxiety disorder are receiving treatment. Fortunately, you don’t have to be part of this group. Instead, you can get on the right path by understanding some of the top symptoms of stress and anxiety:

  • Migraine headache
  • Squeezing pain in the stomach
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Nail-biting
  • Overeating or no appetite
  • Constant worry
  • Restless (or no) sleep
  • The feeling that you want to cry

The primary reason to treat stress is to remove it from your life once and for all. Along with this, you don’t want the problem to worsen over time. Continual stress and anxiety can develop into a disorder, thus leading to long term depression.

Some of the symptoms associated with depression include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in extracurricular activities
  • Persistent feeling of sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Stress Relievers Exist

It’s a common belief that medication is the only way to treat stress, anxiety, and depression, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The following treatment options have been proven effective for many people:

  • This doesn’t mean you have to become a marathon runner overnight. A daily walk, a bike ride, or a visit to your local gym will do wonders to relieve tension. When you exercise aerobically, your endorphins will kick in and fill you with a “feel good” hormone rush. Yoga can also be a lifesaver.
  • You don’t need to visit India to learn how to meditate. Sitting in a quiet space with your eyes closed, taking deep breaths, is often enough to transform your life. The object is to calm and quiet your mind. Meditation can also lower your blood pressure.
  • Talk about it. Contact a family member or friend to discuss your mental state. Make an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Sharing what’s on your mind can help remove some (or all) stress from your life.

Conclusion

There is more to living a healthy life than eating right and exercising. You should focus on your mental health as well.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to practice a variety of stress-relief techniques while also seeking professional assistance. Also, if you or a loved one is contemplating suicide, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary:

That may be a lot to take in. But I remind patients suffering from crippling back pain, chronic spinal disease, paralysis and other ailments seen in a spinal surgery practice, mine, that taking small steps to curb stress and anxiety is more effective, and longer lasting, that ‘swinging for the fence’. And everyone is different. The joke in clinic today was a young man, a cowboy that lives on a ranch out west of town hurt his low back roping cattle. He needed stress-relieving, muscle-strengthening core exercises. He was a classic, wearing boots, a big belt-buckle and jeans. I told him, in my most doctorly voice, “Partner, you need to start a yoga class, it has been scientifically shown to be effective for back pain”. The belly laugh he gave brought the entire clinic to a halt. Everyone started laughing with him, and at me. It was great fun. And yes, most cowboys don’t want to be told to go to a yoga class. But once he realized the male to female ratio, and gave it a little more thought, the idea of a yoga class didn’t seem quite so bad.

Find your own stress-relieving and anxiety-busting behaviors and activities. If you choose it you will own it.

 

For more great articles on health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com

 

Tried And True Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

IDENTIFY THE SOURCE

Stress is a shadow that wraps its victims in a tight hold, so identifying the cause, then directing the negativity, is crucial.  In order to deal with the signs of stress, like anxiety, they must first be recognized.  The following is a list of the most common indicators of anxiety and stress:

  • Unable to concentrate
  • Lack of interest at work
  • Anger
  • Decreased libido
  • Overeating or lack of appetite
  • Palpitations/chest pain
  • Aches and pains
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling out of control

THE CAUSE

If three or more signs are identified, visiting a physician is recommended. Understanding the reason for the cause of the stress will help with the solution:

  • Dealing with grief
  • Long hours at work
  • Disliking your job
  • Going through a divorce
  • Generally unhappy
  • Past or childhood experiences
  • Being abused or bullied

STEPS TO TAKE

Once focusing on the source of the stress, eliminating the angst will be easier.  If suffering from mild stress and anxiety, the following steps may help:

  • Yoga
  • Exercise at least 15 minutes a day. This will not resolve the problem but will help clear the head to think clearly.
  • Acupuncture
  • Talk to someone trustworthy
  • Take time for breathing exercises (Harvard health)
  • Keep a diary. This will help spot symptoms and triggers.
  • Manage your time and allocate tasks, don’t do it all.
  • Set challenges and be proactive. An example of this would be to start a new hobby, go and meet friends, or change your job.
  • Avoid unhealthy choices like too much alcohol consumption. Alcohol may mask the actual trigger.

Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand, with anxiety being the physical symptom of stress.  If self managing stress has become too difficult, visiting a physician is crucial.  There is growing evidence that stress and other psychological disorders are linked with certain illness.  The National Heart Foundation of Australia suggests there is consistent evidence linking stress and heart disease.  There are many recent reviews trying to define what area of stress versus people’s general health and lifestyle will affect the probability of a person developing the disease.

 

HOW TO COPE WITH ANXIETY

Anxiety triggers our nervous system into biological change, where adrenaline takes over the breathing and the heart rate elevates.  This change is called the fight or flight response, which is in a human’s disposition, dating back thousands of years to a time where escaping true life emergencies were common.  In order to calm this response, the following techniques may help:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing is a method of deep breathing to lower the heart rate by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle just above the stomach cavity. Breath in through the nose and let the stomach rise, not the chest. (Harvard Health Deep Breathing)
  • Relax muscles. Stress and anxiety can make the muscles tighten, so exercise like Pilates and Yoga may help combat this.  Stretching out the muscles will also help relieve any tension buildup.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get more sleep. Make time to wind down by reading a book or listening to soothing music. Setting a regular bedtime and alarm for the morning will get the body into a routine.
  • Do at least 15 minutes of exercise daily

Taking time out from a hectic lifestyle will enable reassessment and action.  If suffering from stress and anxiety, seek advice from a physician who can recommend support groups or even a psychologist.  There are some fantastic groups on the internet too (please see resources).  Many are fighting the stress battle and are taking control of their lives once more.  So speak up and don’t be ashamed, there are methods and help out there.  It is simply a matter of reaching for it.

 

For more articles on stress, anxiety and mental health, check out GetThrive.com

 

RESOURCES

Big White Wall

https://adaa.org/supportgroups

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

 

Ergonomic Furniture to Improve Posture and Boost Health

Have you ever seen a toddler walking around with bad posture? As we get older or stuck behind a desk, we often develop lousy sitting habits. This affects our body, how we stand, and our ability to move comfortably. Alas, ergonomic furniture may be the key to helping improve your posture and, in turn, boosting your health.

The Power of Gravity

If you think about it, it takes energy for us to hold our bodies upright. We’ve got the weight of gravity constantly pushing down on us. It’s almost as if we need to be mindful of how we carry ourselves during all of our waking hours.     

When our posture is good, we don’t have to use as much energy because our bodies function efficiently. Our joints are originally, naturally aligned, allowing our bones to fit together the way our bodies were created. But, when we slump into poor posture, muscles are strained and joints and bones become misaligned. And then, we have to exert more energy to compensate for the inefficiency.

The bottom line is that good posture is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. If ergonomic furniture and bodily awareness can help, perhaps they’re worth a try.

Proper Posture is Queen Sized

When we’re adolescents, adults often remark on our posture. Are they offering suggestions to stand up straight because we would look better? Probably. In addition, however, there are other reasons to practice good posture.

  • keeps our bones and joints in alignment
  • slows down the wear and tear of joint surfaces
  • may deter the onset on arthritis
  • avoids strain on muscles
  • may prevent back, shoulder, and neck aches
  • may prevent unwanted spinal issues
  • allows more oxygen into our lungs
  • aids with proper digestion

Is Furniture in Your Future?

If using ergonomic furniture can help you improve your posture, then place it on your wish list. Sometimes these fancy chairs will cost more than a typical rolling office seat. However, it’s well worth the extra expense—especially if it’s saving money spent on chiropractors, physical therapy, medicines and other pain remedies.

For one, it’s been proven that an ergonomic chair allows you to sit for longer periods with more comfort. It also lets you customize the seat to fit your specific body and its needs. Generally, the armrest support is adjustable, allowing your arms to hang naturally and your shoulders to relax.

You can also adjust the height of the seat. This will let your feet rest flat on the floor. In turn, your hips can remain aligned. When the back of the chair protects your lumbar spine (lower back) and the seat is at optimum height level, you can also help keep your pelvis aligned. (You can test if you’re sitting properly if you can feel your sitz bones when you rock from side to side.)

The Best Seats in The House

For ergonomic furniture, such as a chair, you’ll want one with a high back. It should support your neck, upper-, middle-, and lower-spine. One chair we like is the Ficmax Ergonomic High-Back Chair, especially because it offers a 360-degree swivel, an electric massager, thick armrests, and an adjustable footrest.     

 

 

If you’ve got a decent high-back chair and can’t get another with all the bells and whistles, consider purchasing a comfy lumbar cushion. This will support your lower back and that natural curve, while also promoting proper posture. A good cushion can be used in the seat of your car, your office chair, a wheelchair, and even on an airplane. We recommend checking out the Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Cushion, especially because it has not one, but two adjustable straps to hold the lumbar pillow in place.  

 

 

 

There are many pieces of ergonomic furniture that you can research these days. A chair and a lumbar pillow are probably your most helpful allies if you just want to get one or two items to start. Your posture plays a large role in your overall health. Utilizing any tools to help keep you sitting and standing up straight will be an investment worthwhile.

For more tips on maintaining and improving your spinal health, as well as the overall health of you and your family, please enjoy Get Thrive!

Sources:

https://www.btod.com/blog/2017/03/23/5-reasons-ergonomic-chairs-will-improve-your-back-pain/

 

 

 

 

Getting Sick from Anger and Stress?

Sick of It

Holding onto anger and stress can certainly lead to making you sick. Stress-related illness in women is on the rise. Here are some interesting ways to dispel your negative emotions.

Getting it All Out

One theory about a way to release stress and anger is to physically indulge in the emotions. A new workshop in the UK encourages women, in a safe environment, to rage until their hearts’ content. Tantrums are welcomed—punching pillows, screaming, jumping on bubble wrap, and more.

In general, we are taught to restrain ourselves—for the sake of civility. What about our inner emotional turmoil? Long work hours, low pay, screaming kids, ignoring spouses, traffic, no chocolate, all the things that can make us downright frustrated and furious, but we have no outlet.

Adele Theron has created a space designed for stressed ladies of all ages and statuses to “shout and pummel their way to inner peace.” Her philosophy is that the negative emotions need to be released. Two tantrum instructors currently guide the workshops.

The participants are urged to write angry thoughts on balloons and then pop them, don goggles and a bat and smash various items, all while screaming expletives as loud as they desire. The theory is that our anger is suppressed. Once it’s experienced, it makes room for us to experience greater joy and happiness.

A Different Philosophy

Indeed now is always the best time to improve our health—emotional and physical. And no doubt, stress-related illness is on the rise. But is feeding into the anger the best way to release it? Some therapists, yogis, and other healers would promote a different way of dispelling anger.

For example, meditation instructor Surbhi Sharma believes anger can be redirected. In order to manage inner rage, he states three essential aspects that must be considered: 1) restlessness in the body and mind; 2) past impression of anger in the mind; and 3) lack of awareness or imperfections. Basically, control the anger before it controls you.

The advice is simple, but not always so easy to practice. Guess that’s why it’s called practice—it’s a work in progress. Get your chemistry balanced: eat nutritionally, sleep well, and get some exercise and/or convene with nature. That’s a start. He then suggests that the moment you sense yourself becoming angry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Observe the change in your state of mind. Deep, mindful breathing releases stress and calms the mind.

Meditation can also be a superb tool for calming the beast within. For other articles on mental and emotional best health, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

How to Get “You Time” After the Holiday

Everyone’s gone back home. Or you’re back home. It was just first of the many “big” holidays, and you’re already exhausted. Here are some “healthy” ways to communicate your state of mind.

Spa-free Communication

Not all of us can afford to go to a spa for three nights to wind down from the stress. Sure, we may have had a day or two off from work, but the holidays are a different kind of work. Regardless if they’re fabulous and you’ve anticipated these dates, they still take a toll once they pass.

Calm, quiet time is necessary. You know that book that you want to cuddle up with? It’s never getting opened unless you let everyone know what’s going to happen. How about binge-watching that British series? Instead, you’ll be viewing Zootopia for the fifth time if you don’t speak up.

In your gentlest, friendliest tone, feel free to express to your friends and family that you have some ideas of your own.

Sample Questions and Responses

“Mom, can the soccer team come over for leftovers tomorrow?”

“I’ll be happy to pack a large cooler of food and drinks, and y’all can take it to the park for the afternoon. Bring your key because I’ll be home napping.”

***

“Can you make pancakes for breakfast?”

“I certainly can. Which day in 2017 would you like?”

***

“I have nothing clean to wear to the party tonight! Can you do the laundry?”

“Here’s $5. If you run down now, the Goodwill should still be open.”

***

“Honey, what are making you for dinner tonight?”

wait for it….. “Reservations.”

 

Alerting and Taking Action

So many people are used to relying on us that we really have to verbalize our needs sometimes. If you’re exhausted from cooking, cleaning, hosting, listening, driving, etc., you just have to let everyone know that you’re not at full steam.

When we become depleted of energy, it causes crankiness, shortness, and many times, miscommunication. Finding clear, kind ways to tell your family and friends what you need is necessary.

Once you’ve given notice, take the “you time!” Again, it doesn’t have to be an exotic vacation or a shopping spree. It could be curling up in bed with a piece of that delicious apple pie. Maybe it’s just going to the park with your dog. Perhaps you just want to sit and stare out the window.

Communicate and then un-plug. Let yourself relax, and e stay away from social media and the telephone. Allow your brain to turn to mush and rest. You deserve it! (Besides, you need to rejuvenate for the next shindig.)

 

4 Pleasant Ways to Practicing Yoga in 2018

A new year is quickly approaching, and it’s usually our intention to make exercise and stress-reduction a priority. Unfortunately, we get side tracked and our health and fitness goals somehow fall by the wayside. However, for 2018, a healthy body and mind can be yours (and simply!) if you choose to follow these 4 pleasant ways to practice yoga.

 

Happy Yoga New Year!

Most of us already understand the benefits of practicing yoga. But there’s no harm in offering some friendly reminders. Health experts and exercise advocates can probably come up with at least 50 reasons why it’s essential to your overall health. Here are just a few main advantages included in your new-year yoga practice:

 

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Improves posture
  • Protects spine
  • Increases ability to focus
  • Improves balance
  • Relieves tension and anxiety
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Decreases pain and inflammation

 

Yoga is clearly healing to the body, but it is also incredibly beneficial for the mind. It’s a holistic practice in where everything is connected. For example, garnering better posture opens up your lungs and allows you to breathe more deeply, naturally. More oxygen into your blood improves your nervous system. You then become more relaxed and hopefully more content!

 

Practicing Can Be Pleasant

All too often we think of exercise and then, we think, “Ugh, I don’t want to do it!” But, yoga should be a joy—and it can be. For 2018, change your mindset to, “I want to do it. It keeps me healthy and I feel good!” And, it will be easy for you to have this attitude because practicing yoga can be enjoyable and rewarding.

Here are 4 perfectly pleasant ways to practice:

 

1) Set up a relaxing, clean space. You don’t have to invest in décor, statues, lighting, or a home with an extra bedroom. All you need is a comfy, clean area where no one will interrupt your dedicated time while in your space. Lighting and ventilation are important, but you can burn a candle or leave a window slightly open (as long as there’s no traffic noise.)

Also, keep your mat clean. It makes a difference when you are stretching or lying down.


(Think of nice clean sheets on your bed.)

Making a Great Start Even Better…

2) Begin with gratitude from the very beginning. Whether you are rushing into the yoga studio or anxious to grab a break in your home space, take a moment to breathe and center yourself before entering. You want your practice to start from a place of compassion and gratitude. This is a precious time and you will be glad you enter into it from a positive and calmer place, making the entire experience more pleasant.

 

3) Bring only yourself to your practice. Leave material objects and worries of the world outside your yoga time and space. Therefore, if you’re going to class, just bring a mat. Most studios provide blocks, blankets, and whatever else you might want or need. The idea is lighten your load, physically and mentally.

Do not bring your phone or have your phone on you whenever practicing. Finish whatever task you were doing before you enter. Allow yourself complete freedom of experience. Forget a watch or clock. If you have a given amount of time, you can always set an alarm outside your space. Honor the pleasant simplicity.

And Finally…

4) Choose 4 favorite poses. Many suggest you begin your practice in a “do nothing doll” or “corpse” position. Just lie down, stop moving, and connect to your breath. Then, start out with four different poses that you love and that help your body feel good. You will be way more inclined to anticipate your yoga session if you already associate it with enjoyment and pleasure.

Most of all, yoga should never feel like an obligation. It is a gift you are giving to your body and mind. So take note when you are stretching or posing what feels the best. Start your session with those poses and you’ll be more apt to make time with a positive attitude.

 

Even though we make promises every year, sticking to your practice can be a success in 2018. Approaching your commitment with simplicity and a feeling of pleasantry can make all the difference. Best of body, mind, and spirit to you today—and everyday!

Sources:

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

https://www.doyouyoga.com/ten-ways-keep-yoga-practice-simple/

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-beginners-guide-to-home-yoga-practice

https://getthrive.com/yoga-heals-brain-body/

https://getthrive.com/yoga-tai-chi-instead-medication/

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays are a great time of the year. But for some people, it can also be a very stressful time. This is often because the holidays are super busy—and there’s always something to do or think about, from traveling, preparing for family visits, buying gifts, cooking, shopping, and attending parties. The list seems to go on…

Holiday duties should be handled in advance whenever possible. So give yourself time by making a list of the things that need to be done, and start early. Here are some other tips to help you beat the holiday stress blues…

1. Set Priorities

When you have many tasks to handle, you may feel really overwhelmed. It helps to set priorities in advance. Take care of the most essential tasks first and work down the list. What is most important to you? It should be connecting with your family first, and then everything else comes after. This includes making the appropriate food choices and the shopping experience.

2. Set Practical Expectations

You are not going to have everything done perfectly. And guess what? It is quite okay! You are not going to be able to control each and every detail and outcome. However, you can mentally prepare for the worst by setting practical expectations and remaining calm and positive if something goes wrong, especially at the last minute.

3. Set a Realistic Budget

Money, and the lack of it, can cause holiday stress. Avoid this by setting a realistic budget. This means that for every gift you intend to buy, you should have a specific monetary amount to spend. Don’t deviate from your budget. And this includes money spent on decorations, food, entertainment, and travel, too.

Don’t try to impress family and friends with highly priced gifts. The gifts you give should be thoughtful. Try small gifts with handmade cards this year or plan a “Secret Santa” gift-giving session as another option.

4. Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead before your guests arrive. Set aside certain days to go shopping, to cook, and to bake. Plan the menu before going food shopping. Get as much help before and after the holiday celebration – for the preparation and clean up phase.

5. Take it Down a Notch

Don’t take it so seriously! The holiday season is going to come and go, just like every other year. While it may be important to you to make an impression with your yearly holiday rituals, you have to do what is in your best interest. Nothing should be set in stone.

If you have to make some minor changes to lessen your stress, then by all means do so. Let’s say you used to make an ice sculpture every year. Why not relinquish that idea this year and do something different (and a little less extravagant)?

In spite of your best efforts, there may be times when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, tired, or even depressed during the holidays. Remember, the holidays are a joyous time and are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. When that happens, it is time to sit down and take a breather. Never be afraid to seek the help of a medical professional if you feel you need it.