Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dare to Care: Manage Your Stress this Holiday Season

This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 holiday season. From now until the end of the year, we’re going to be surrounded by all that makes this the most wonderful time of the year: dinners and get-togethers with family and friends, bright and colorful decorations, glad tidings of great joy! Not to mention the interminable chats with the in-laws, the multitude of crowds, an ever-growing waistline, and, oh, who are we kidding? We haven’t stopped being stressed since October 1st when we first started seeing that blasted red and green in stores.

Stress is a normal part of life. But even the normalcies of life can be aggravating at best and, at worst, unhealthy. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges (sound familiar?). Stress that continues without relief can lead to headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood sugar, chest pain, and problems sleeping. These symptoms can worsen over time, causing chronic illness or disease, like heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.

The good thing about overcoming your stress is that it’s most often free and rarely takes too much of the precious time you’re stressing over. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few ways to help you dodge the seasonal (and future) stress and stay happy, healthy and energized:
  • Get some sun! Sunlight stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Take a whiff of citrus. Certain citrus fragrances boost good feelings and alleviate stress by upping levels of the hormone norepinephrine. For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
  • Go for a walk. The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep. Try a brisk, 30 minute walk daily. Plus, workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
  • Utilize pressure points. If you don’t have time for a foot massage, apply firm pressure for 30 seconds to the fleshy place between your index finger and thumb to reduce stress and tension in your upper body.
  • Stick to your daily routine. “Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don’t try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle,” recommends Katherine Muller, PsyD.
  • Spice it up. Spicy foods trigger the release of endorphins, the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being.
  • Or keep it sweet. Eat a spoonful of honey for an instant kick and energy for the long haul. Plus, research shows that its antioxidant and antibacterial properties may improve your immunity. And the darker the honey, the more powerful the antioxidant punch!
  • Listen to music. Anxious? Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. This not only calms you down, but is good for your heart, too.
  • Go for the mangoes. If you’re craving something sweet, grab a mango. The sweet, tangy scent of mangoes (fresh or jarred!) may alter your blood chemistry and send a wave of calm over your body, research from Japan shows.
  • Think positive. As hard as it may be, don’t focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response, just as a real threat does. An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.
  • Don’t forget to laugh! Laughing reduces stress hormones and, in turn, helps immune cells function better. All this stress building up won’t matter a week, a month, or a year from now. So whether you burn the pumpkin pie or forget that you said you’d let Great Aunt Muriel stay with you, laugh it off. Enjoy your holidays; don’t stress over them.
At ExpressACAForms, we want to help you not just “get through” this holiday season, but to really enjoy it. If you’re going to “get through” anything, get through this tax season coming up. But not until after you relax and spend a fun holiday surrounded by loved ones. Then you can use ExpressACAForms for as stress-free of a tax filing season as possible! If you run into any snags or have a question, you can get in touch with us via phone and live chat Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (704) 839-2270. We also offer 24/7 email support at

1 comment:

  1. Stress now becomes a serious issue and it brings several kinds of negative results for us. In most of the occasion, we have found that people are facing different types of problems due to stress and frustration, basically, it arises due to heavy workload and restless lifestyle. Instead of avoiding stress, it is quite better to deal and face the stress, so that we can easily bring some positive changes in our personality as well as thoughts. So, I completely appreciate the entire article which provides some important facts about how to manage stress. Thanks for such a wonderful article with useful information about how to deal with stress problems.
    Stress Management