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Do you wonder if self care can make a difference this holiday and help your stress? You wouldn’t be the only one. The holiday season leaves many in a place of feeling drained and longing for relief. Do you long for relief this holiday season? Are you hoping this year is different from the past years? If so, below are a few suggestions for steps you can take this season to improve your stress during the holidays.

Self-care by definition is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. Change, by definition, can only occur when we take steps of action to promote the change. For example, if certain aspects of the holiday season stress you out, steps of action are needed to bring about change in reducing the stress. Self-care is one way to reduce stress.

Need Self-Care Steps for Mental Stress?

Make a difference in your holiday stress by trying steps of self-care to decrease mental stress. Recognizing your bodies signs of being under mental stress can help you be aware that self-care is needed. Signs such as increased crying or mood changes. Difficulty eating or sleeping. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or guilt are all signs of mental stress that can help you identify the need for self-care. Below are some changes that may help you reduce your mental stress during the holiday season.

  • Take deep breaths – be intentional by setting aside time a few times a day to breath in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds
  • Schedule a power nap – a 15-minute power nap can greatly help mental stress
  • Read a good book – replace watching news with a book, even a couple of pages each time you read can decrease stress
  • Get creative – journal, draw, paint or color
  • Take a break from social media or feeds that spark anger

Another blog post is here to help you understand mental stress.

How About Self-Care for Physical Stress?

You can also make a difference in physical holiday stress by taking self-care steps. Our bodies react to the environments around us, whether those are positive or negative. Recognizing when your body is need of physical self-care can come about when you experience new symptoms. Symptoms such as fatigue, panic attacks, increased heart rates or sleep issues, just to name a few. If you are experiencing an increased physical stress symptoms this holiday season, maybe these can help.

  • Make time for some stretches throughout the day
  • Declutter something – even a small space will help
  • Get a massage – they can help with pain, circulation and anxiety
  • Get outside – for a walk, run or bike ride
  • Laugh – put time of your calendar with those who you enjoy
  • Music – listen to music you love
  • Practice saying no – overcommitting creates stress

Self-care is necessary to maintain mental and physical stress during the holiday season. If you find you have tried some steps for self-care but need some help establishing greater relief, you are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here and can help you take steps to balance your life. You can read more about helping your body relax here.

When you are ready, our team is here to support you.

Would you like to read more on this topic? Check out this blog post for ideas to help.