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Ditch the Holiday Stress!

By Erica Cardenas

Tis the season of giving and being together…with a side of holiday stress?? No, thanks! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy jumping on the annual holiday bandwagon just as much as the next person – filling up my phone with 50+ recipe and decorating screenshots, courtesy of Pinterest – finding those perfect gifts for family and friends, and yes, even the ugly Christmas sweaters. Oh, how those ugly sweaters bring me such joy! (Just ask my husband…)

But when I start feeling the holiday anxiety piling on, I’ve also come to accept that it’s more than OK to just take a time-out…to pause, be present and redirect my focus.

This month’s episode of Your Health keys in on some great ways to de-stress amidst the the holiday chaos. I would love to also share with you a few of my personal favorite ways to recharge during the season – perhaps one of these tips will bring some calm your way as well!

‘Peaceful Holiday’ playlist

Research shows that listening to music can drive down those stress hormones and lower your heart rate. The Pandora app (Pandora.com) makes it super easy to create your own holiday stations and playlists. One of my favorite stations to plug in this time of year is called ‘Peaceful Holiday’ (no joke, I’m literally listening to it right now as I am writing this blog post!) I find it’s a great way to unwind and relax, while still enjoying the sounds of the season.

Focus on your word

A few weeks ago I was in my car listening to a radio show and they were talking about choosing your word that you would want to take with you into the new year. A word that you felt, for whatever reason, has significance and meaning in this season of your life. The word that almost immediately jumped out in my mind: TRUST. I’m choosing to trust that all things will work according to how they’re supposed to, and believing that definitely puts a smile on my face, and brings me joy!

What’s the word you’re going to embrace and take with you into 2018? Whatever you feel your word is, an idea is to write it on a piece of paper and tape it to a place where you know you’ll see it every day – your bathroom mirror, your car visor or perhaps your computer screen. It’s a great way to reflect daily on where you are, and where you’re heading!

My word for 2018 – taped to my bathroom mirror!

Laugh, and kick perfection to the curb

Research shows that laughing reduces stress hormones big time, which in turn helps immune cells function better, a win-win if you ask me! I’ve come to realize that in our family, taking that picture-perfect holiday photo, well…let’s just say we opt for something a little more lighthearted every year. 😉

The take away here is to not sweat the small stuff, and to find some holiday cheer even in the unplanned and unexpected. If anything it could make for some fun, and funny, holiday memories! And that’s really what it’s all about, right? Enjoying the time you have together and trying your best to not take one precious moment for granted. Your family will thank you later!

Cardenas holiday family photo take #215! 🙂

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday, and a very Merry Christmas!

Stay healthy, my friends!

Erica Cardenas

Watch the full episode of Your Health here: