The holidays are a big part of the fall and winter months. This is often a time to reconnect with family and loved ones, attend social events, and celebrate your beliefs. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of extra commitments, nonstop activity, and pressure to get it all done. This can result in both mental and physical stress.

Everyone feels stressed occasionally, but becomes detrimental when it continues for a long time or becomes too overwhelming. When this happens, your health can suffer. The immune system is particularly sensitive to the effects of stress, which means that ongoing stress can leave you vulnerable to colds, flu, and other illnesses.

tension headache

Thankfully, you can take charge and work to reduce some of the stress in your life. One way to do that is to set realistic expectations for the holidays. Spend some time thinking about what’s important to you. Rather than concentrating on making everything perfect, try to focus on enjoying yourself. That may look like spending time with family, volunteering to help others, or taking a vacation.
Another good strategy is to set boundaries. Don’t take on more than you can handle, say “no” if you have to, and ask for help if you need it.

More ways to take stress out of the holidays:

Eat nutrient-dense foods: Remember to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When possible, try to keep refined sugars and processed foods to a minimum.

Assortment of fruits and vegetables on a wooden table

Rest: Get plenty of sleep. It’s important to carve out enough time to get adequate sleep even if you have a lot to do. Check in with your body to make sure you’re not overly tired. Did you know that acupuncture treatments can help with sleep issues?

Meditation: Take a few minutes during the day to sit quietly and simply focus on your breathing. If you need assistance, try a meditation class or an app!

Exercise: Try to work exercise into your schedule, as it’s a natural energy and mood booster. Even a brisk walk will do wonders for your stress levels. Yoga is another excellent choice this time of year.

Person on a walk in winter down a dirt road.

Talking to someone: Share your thoughts and feelings with a friend or a counselor. Expressing yourself may make you feel better and you might even find solutions to stressful situations.

Vitamins and herbs: Be sure to take the supplements your healthcare provider recommends such as a daily multivitamin. This time of year many people opt in to taking extra vitamin C to help strengthen their immunity and vitamin D to combat the low light. Herbal medicine is another great option! Herbs like ginseng can help you adapt to stress and valerian can soothe and calm your mind.

Acupuncture and massage: Acupuncture and massage are great techniques to help reduce and manage stress. These treatments work to relax both mind and body.

Integrative Acupuncture can help you achieve an stress-free holiday season with acupuncture, massage therapy, naturopathic care, and more. Contact us with any questions or book an appointment online today! With a little preparation and adding some new coping strategies, you can make this year’s holiday season even more happy and healthy.