Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 4

Of all the tips we’ve shared so far to help you make it through the holidays without a total meltdown, this may be the most important…

1. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax.  For many, the ability to relax is not natural but it can be learned.  Some ways to help yourself relax are:

o   Breathing Exercises

Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed.  Inhale deeply.  Push as much of the air as possible out of your lungs.  Repeat the process but this time, relax your muscles while you exhale.  Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

o   Progressive Relaxation Therapy

Tense your muscles then relax them.  Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

o   Exercise

We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise.  As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress reducing benefits of exercise.  You can walk or stretch and get the stress reducing benefit of exercise.

o   Watch Your Mindset

 

When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking.  It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season.  Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good.  Think of something that makes you happy.  It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Next time, we’ll talk more about specific steps to take and exercises that will help you make it to the new year.