By REBEKAH JONES
Crowded shopping malls, planning holiday parties, dealing with out of town relatives… the holiday season can get to you quick if you’re not careful. As with any season of stress, it is important to try to stay calm and mindful of your feelings and personal well-being. Ongoing stress can disrupt your sleep, compromise your immune system, raise your blood pressure, and cause headaches, not to mention what it does to your muscles and tendons.
We know staying balanced during this time is hard, so we’ve come up with a few ways to step back and relax.
Smelling citrus scents, such as oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruits raises the norepinephrine in your body, which is responsible for boosting your mood. You can use essential oils to make your own room spray or use a diffuser in your home.
Whether you’re walking, running, or swimming, it’s important to get moving and releasing endorphins, which help to relieve stress. It’ll also give you an excuse to stop obsessively cleaning the house or going to the mall for that additional gift.
Not only does meditation reduce stress, it also improves concentration, benefits cardiovascular and immune health and increases happiness. That’s right, it will actually make you happier! Studies show that activity increases in the left prefrontal cortex—which is responsible for happiness, while the right side—which controls negative emotion, experiences less activity. (Meditation can also be loosely translated to sitting by the fire and drinking hot cocoa in your pajamas if that’s what you need.)
Get those knots out. Keeping up with a (somewhat) regular massage throughout the holiday season can do wonders for your stress level. Your massage therapist will work to soothe, smooth and extend muscles that are tense and knotted. If you’re shoulders aren’t bunched up and tight, you’ll feel better mentally and physically. Additionally, massage helps to combat anxiety and stress at its root—your brain. As with other items listed, massage can release stress-bursting hormones that will make you feel better instantly.
It’s okay to rush around buying gifts and making desserts for the ones you love, but you should to remember to show yourself a little kindness, too. If you do, you’ll have more energy and clarity to bring to the table for the rest of the season.
Elements Massage of Franklin is located at 539 Cool Springs Boulevard, Suite 140 Franklin, Tennessee 37067. You can contact the studio at (615) 771-0003 or visit their website here.