Girl, we know that sometimes the holiday feels are overwhelming! If you're feeling anxious, guess what? 'Tis the season; it's sorta normal this time of year. With visiting relatives, stringing lights, endless shopping, and preparing those lavish festive meals, we tend to go warp speed ahead and never stop to soak up the joy of the season. It's super important to tend to your mental wellness during the holidays and make sure your sanity doesn't get lost in all the hullabaloo. So if you're feeling anxious, don't panic. We put together some helpful anxiety tips to help cope with the added seasonal stress and get through the holidays in a happy, mentally healthy place. You GOT this, Queen.
Take a Brisk Walk
What's better to clear out the cobwebs than some fresh air and exercise? Taking a brisk walk around the 'hood can do wonders for putting a little mental pep in our step! One study actually showed that by walking tall with your head held high and shoulders back, you're more likely to experience good moods. Obvs exercising, in general, is an amazing way to keep that hot bod in shape, but it's so important for your mental fitness, too. So next time your brain feels like eggnog, and Every. Last. Thing. is getting on your nerves, grab your coat and hit the trails — or pavement, or basically, anywhere you can walk tall without hitting a tree branch.
Binge Watch (A Little)
If you're feeling anxious, there's nothing better than escaping into your new fave show. (And who doesn't love them some Johnny and Moira?!) It's so much fun to let go of our daily stressors and forget about all the stuff we need to get done in time for the holidays. Don't get lost for too long, though. A bunch of studies has linked excessive watching of 3.5 hours on the daily to cognitive decline and BMR & metabolism slow down. Egads! So set your alarm to remind yourself to hit pause. Maybe even do a quick sweat sesh before you dive back in!
Self Reflect & Write it Down
Out of all of our anxiety tips, we heart this one so much! Writing down your thoughts and feelings allows you to just breathe easier and re-focus on what's important to you. Self-reflection is key to understanding what makes us tick and discovering how to love thyself! When we organize our thoughts and feelings, we learn what matters most to us and how to live our most meaningful life. Mental health experts advise not only jotting down things you want to change but making sure to also track your gratitude. Our LSF Self Love workbook is a great daily guide for self-reflection, journaling, printables, tools for healing, and our step by step on falling in love with YOU! You'll learn so much about ways to practice mindfulness and self-care and discover newfound strength to address depression and anxiety. We promise you'll never be the same again — in a good way!
Eat (dark) Chocolate!
You heard us right, chocoholics. Next time you're feeling anxious, heed these anxiety tips and stock the pantry with chocolate. But it has to be dark chocolate to glean the awesome mood-boosting benefits. Your crankxiety may mean your body is low on serotonin, a neurotransmitter that impacts your mood. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan (yeah, just like the turkey you ate on Thanksgiving), which gets your body producing serotonin. There are so many great-quality, super affordable organic dark chocolates on the market (TJs is always good for that!) But you can also make your own healthy dark chocolate snacks, like these Keto Almond Joy Fat Bombs we featured here (chocolaty goodness that's so easy peasy). You'll be in a better mood because, duh, you're eating delish chocolate, and those body chemicals will take care of the rest.
Get Some Sleep!
Insomnia sucks and it prevents us from operating on all cylinders. Getting enough sleep is also essential to our mental wellness! Sometimes slumber is elusive and it's tough to get Mr. Sandman to bring you a dream — especially with everything going on around the holidays. We know how it is: You flop into bed exhausted, only to play mental ping-pong with yourself about what you're getting everyone on your gift list (check out these great ideas in our LSF Holiday Gift Guide for some help!). And it can turn into a vicious cycle of not sleeping because you're anxious – to your lack of sleep causing even more anxiety. Ugh. Well, don't give up on your dreams just yet. Thankfully, there are some quick adjustments you can make to your sleep environment and a few pre-sleep activities that you can do to help you fall into dreamland a little easier.
Experts say the ideal temperature for snoozing is between 60 and 67 degrees. So, adjust your thermostat girl and you'll be able to snuggle in a little easier. Also, make sure you have a good mattress. Not to be like 'Princess and the Pea' or anything, but if you have a lumpy mattress and scratchy sheets, it's no wonder you can't get any shut-eye! And then, to create the most dreamy sleep space, use essential oils, lavender in particular, either in a lotion or with a diffuser. (See more good info on essential oils in this LSF blog!) Finally, when you're about to wind down, dim the lights, do some light stretches, and turn on your most soothing soundtrack. If you try some of these techniques, we think you'll be in a better frame of mind to conk out when the light's out. Sweet dreams!