Tension Taming Tips to Finesse Stress

The holidays are upon us, so ‘tis the season to be jolly. And that means that you can’t let yourself fall victim to stress! It’s not always easy, what with the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating your home, getting ready for company, and concerns about pushing an already tight budget to its limits.

But here are a few quick tricks that’ll short-circuit your stress in the wink of a reindeer’s eye:

Breathe. Taking slow, deliberate breaths and focusing on the sensation (called mindful breathing) won’t shrink the long line at the toy store, but it will lower your heart rate and help you gain a sense of control.

Spend quality time with your pet. Your furry friend loves you unconditionally, so playing a quick game of fetch with Fido or cuddling on the couch with Kitty will lift your spirits and serve as a buffer against stress.

Take a walk. A simple walk at a brisk pace enhances the flow of brain chemicals that block the effects of stress. It doesn’t have to be a long walk — even a dash up and down the stairs will do in a pinch.

Munch on chocolate.It’s true — eating chocolate helps release endorphins, those brainy chemicals that control your mood. (And it’s yummy!)

The most important thing…is to allow yourself to enjoy the holiday season and all of its wonders. After all, it only comes once a year!