Best Ways to De-stress during the Holidays

de stress during the holidays
Many people’s holidays are defined by extremes: long to-do lists and not enough time; the desire to get some rest at home and the pressure to travel far away to see family or friends; gift-giving and the lack of money; enjoying festive food and weight management.

While some people are quite happy and surrounded by those they love, others are finding themselves isolated and not spending enough time with friends and loved ones, enjoying the holidays and having some much-deserved fun.

To make the best of the holidays, the following suggestions can be easily incorporated into everyday life.

The Benefits of Meditation

The holidays are a particularly good time to start a regular meditation practice. It is easy to do, either individually or in a group setting, and it will provide plenty of immediate and long-term benefits, including:
  • stress reduction
  • less anxiety
  • more joy and peacefulness
  • better clarity and focus
  • stronger immune system
  • improvement of health in general
  • better concentration
  • lower blood pressure
Meditation does not require any particular clothing or equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into everyday life, whether it’s during the lunch break, daily commute, or while travelling by plane.

There are countless of websites and books outlining the benefits of meditation and how to start meditating. The Chopra Center in particular is a good source of information and offers numerous resources for starting a regular group or individual meditation practice.

Exercise for a Better Body and Mind

According to, exercise is not only beneficial for becoming physically fit and improving health in general, it also leads to positive changes to the brain. Exercise, together with meditation, can also help in giving up unhealthy habits, such as drinking, smoking or drug addictions.

While gym memberships and personal trainer expenses can certainly add up and make it difficult for some to exercise, the reality is building a better body can be done on a budget. Many websites and magazine articles offer suggestions for different types of workouts, from simple to advanced. Some gyms also offer free weekly passes as well as complimentary sessions with a personal trainer. There are also many other free ways of getting fit, such as walking, running, hiking, or using the gym in one’s condo building.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Higher stress levels have long been associated with a lower immune system response. Some studies have shown that humour and laughter may give the immune system a boost, and lead to an increased level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.

According to Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, and author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, there isn’t any clear research yet into the potential health benefits of laughter. Having said that, laughter and a positive attitude certainly help people feel better.

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