This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. But by the time the decorations have been packed away, the leftovers (mostly) consumed, and visiting family has departed, it’s enough to leave you feeling frazzled.
Assuming you don’t have the post-holiday funds (or time) to take a weeklong vacation to the spa, here are some natural, healthy ways to unwind.
Kickstart the process with a healthy diet
It’s going to be tough to let go of your stress if your body is expending energy dealing with unhealthy foods or dehydration.
While we wouldn’t begrudge you an evening glass of red wine, your best bet for relieving the tension for the long term is to stay hydrated. That’s right, the easiest option is to drink plenty of H2O — about 8 glasses a day will replenish your stores and serve as a critical step in feeling better.
The next step is eating a diet that supports your body’s drive to return to healthy balance. Although chips and ice cream can be comfort foods, they’ll ultimately work against you. Balance your meals with these foods to re-energize:
- High-fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (like these)
A hearty soup (such as this Black Bean & Veggie Soup) can be just the thing for unwinding on a cold winter’s night!
Be good to your body
Sure, stress can cause tension in our bodies, but the reverse can also be true. Unrelieved tension in our bodies can contribute to feeling of stress and anxiety. Help your body help you by giving it some TLC!
Exercise is an obvious answer to help burn away stress, and for good reason! Not only does exercise pump your body full of brain-pleasing endorphins, but that sweat is also a powerful way to rid your body of toxins that could be dragging it down.
If nothing else, get outside and hike. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
You can also help your body settle in for a good night’s sleep in the evening with a cleansing sea salt bath.
Improve your mental environment
Mens sana in corpore sano is Latin for “healthy mind, healthy body.” It’s not always possible to take a mental sabbatical, but it is critical to set time aside for mental decompression and relief.
It takes only 5 minutes of focused meditation to realize immense benefits to your well-being. The value of meditation is so powerful that it is now recognized by traditional medicine. You don’t have to be a spiritual guru to reap the benefits of mental downtime:
- Start by turning off the electronic devices early in the day. Too much time online actually increases your stress and anxiety.
- Accelerate the process with the right essential oils.
Overwork and chronic stress can be a downward spiral into long-term mental and physical problems. Thankfully, the solution is an upward spiral where a good diet, body care, and intentional mental exercise can not only help you get out of a post-holiday funk, but also build a foundation of wellness for years to come!