The holidays can be surprisingly stressful. For lots of folks anxiety levels soar this time of year. And let’s face it no one, you included, has the time—not to mention the cash—for a daily massage.
Mention your anxiety to your doc and chances are you’ll leave his office with a risky prescription you don’t want… or need. After all, drugs are mainstream medicine’s answer for everything.
But anxiety meds can come with some nasty side effects including memory problems, dizziness, blurred vision, and confusion.
Erase holiday anxiety and stress FAST
So why not hit the off button and erase all that holiday stress induced anxiety with one of these strange but effective stress-busters instead?
1. Try a mini massage:
An acupressure foot massage is a fast, easy, and most importantly DRUG-FREE way to de-stress.
Acupressure is a close cousin of the ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine art of acupuncture. In acupressure, you use the same points on the body as are used for acupuncture. But no needles are required, making it the perfect at-home therapy.
To relieve anxiety and stress quickly try rubbing the webbing between your big toe and your second toe, as well as the inside of your foot at the base of the big toe.
This acupressure move isn’t just relaxing either. Experts say it could help protect your heart from stress at the same time.
Not somewhere you can slip your shoes off? Gently press your thumb into the webbing between the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand. This little move might make you feel a bit silly, but it relieves stress and helps relax your muscles so you stay calm.
2. Find the mistletoe:
Kissing isn’t just romantic it turns out it’s a terrific anxiety and stress reliever too. And scientists can even tell you why it works.
When you kiss someone you love, and who makes you feel loved, two things happen…
- your stress hormone (cortisol) levels drop
- your body releases “feel-good” hormones known as endorphins
Antidepressant meds can mimic these same mood-lifting results. But it comes at a hefty price. Try relieving your mild holiday anxiety and stress by locking lips with a loved one instead.
3. Hug it out:
Don’t have anyone to smooch right now? No problem.
It turns out hugging can help erase holiday-linked anxiety and stress, too. Just a 20 second hug is all it takes to reduce stress, reduce your heart rate and even lower your blood pressure.
And it doesn’t have to be an embrace from your significant other either. Experts say a hug from a friend or a family member works just as well.
4. Blow up a balloon:
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed you can unconsciously start taking shallow, quick breaths. This is the exact opposite of what you need to do to relax.
But it turns out the simple act of blowing up a balloon, or several, could fix your breathing problem and quickly restore calm.
You see blowing up balloons forces you to repeatedly breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. And before you know it, you’ll find your breathing is back on track and your feelings of anxiety and stress have evaporated.
Bonus? Make the balloons red and green and you have instant Christmas party decorations.
5. Brew a cuppa:
Instead of always reaching for coffee to get you through the endless shopping, or pouring a cocktail in the evening to take the edge off, consider brewing up a cup of relaxing tea.
Drinking four cups of black tea a day can lower stress hormones. And green tea can reportedly shift your brain waves from the anxiety and stress zone straight into relaxation mode.
During your holidays try replacing your coffee with a cuppa tea and watch your holiday stress melt away with every sip.
6. Belt out a tune:
Yes, I am serious. Belt one out loudly and proudly. Go ahead and be that person. who sings the Christmas carols just a bit louder than everyone else. Because it turns out people who do, may have been onto something all along.
Experts say folks who sing tend to suffer from less anxiety and stress than the rest of us. In fact, using your voice by singing, humming, or even yelling is proven to lower stress levels almost the very moment you open your mouth.
But since yelling is far from festive, I suggest you to stick to singing instead.
The holidays can trigger anxiety and stress. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend your holidays stressed out. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to resort to dangerous anxiety drugs, either. Beat back the tension and have some fun doing it with these strange but effective stress busters instead.