The holidays are supposed to be happy, but they can also be stressful. Here are seven ideas for having a happier (and healthier) holiday season:
- Plan ahead. Block time for the events and tasks that are most important to you. Don’t feel bad about saying “no” when you reach your limit.
- Rest up. We know you’re busy, but make sure sleep is at the top of your “to-do” list! Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of restful sleep every night to feel at their best.
- Eat healthy. Fuel up with a well-balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains. And despite the temptation, avoid sugary drinks and processed foods. They can sap your energy.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Enjoy holiday festivities, but don’t use alcohol to manage stress.
- Relax your muscles. Many of us carry tension throughout our bodies. Try stretching or taking a hot shower to give muscles a little TLC.
- Move! Go for a short walk or jog, take a dance break between wrapping presents or find another way to get moving. Exercise can help you destress and improve your mood.
- When you feel overwhelmed, breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and repeat four times. Deep breathing is a great way to relax and clear your mind.
If stress goes too far
These tips are fine for minor holiday-related headaches. But get help if you have persistent stress, contact your doctor’s office or a mental health professional.
ConnectiCare members can get support using their behavioral health benefit through Optum. Call 1-888-946-4658 or visit liveandworkwell.com and use access code “connecticare.” You’ll find hotlines, information and help.
On behalf of the ConnectiCare family, we wish you a happy and stress-free holiday season!