Soak in Lavender Oil from 15 Natural Remedies for Instant Calm During the Holidays
15 Natural Remedies for Instant Calm During the Holidays
Between family, friends, dinner parties, and shopping, the holiday season can be an overwhelming and a stressful time for many people. The good news is that you can dodge the winter blues and snap yourself out of a low mood in no time.
*Related: 15 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel
Maintain awareness of your thoughts, bodily sensations, feelings, and surroundings by practicing mindful living. “Close your eyes and practice deep breathing,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey. Focus on the present, live in the moment, and do your best to cut out all negative distractions.
Make Comprehensive Lists
Have a Mindful Snack
“When it's snack time, I love to grab a 100-calorie pack of Wonderful Pistachios,” Gorin says. “The act of shelling the pistachios is calming, plus it helps me be mindful, since they take longer to eat. In fact, you may be less likely to reach for extra servings: People eating in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent less calories than people snacking on shelled ones, found a preliminary study in Appetite.”
Soak in Lavender Oil
The smell of lavender promotes quick stress and anxiety relief. Mix about five drops of lavender oil into your bath, or diffuse a few drops of it into the air when you’re feeling stressed. “In a Florida study, students who inhaled lavender oil scent before an exam [had] less anxiety,” Health explains.
Score Some Social Media Love
Gorin says that “if you’re feeling down, post a feel-good photo of a favorite memory on Facebook or Instagram. You’re bound to get some instant likes and mood-boosting comments.”
Go for a Walk
“Get out of the house for some fresh air and get those endorphins boosted,” Gorin says. “The exercise is bound to help calm you.” See: 10 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Walk.
Reach for Healthy Comfort Food
“Research in Health Psychology shows that healthy comfort food, such as popcorn or nuts, is just as likely to boost a negative mood as more caloric comfort food, like ice cream,” Gorin says. One of her go-to healthy comfort foods is Sabra’s Veggie Fusion Mango Lime Guacamole, which she likes to pair with cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. “You get a boost of happy summer from the mango and lime—plus you get heart-healthy fats from the avocado,” she adds.
Do Something That Makes You Happy
Take a Deep Breath
“Close your eyes and practice deep breathing,” Gorin says. “I tell my clients to close their office door and take a few minutes of ‘me’ time if they need it.”
Reach for a Fueling Purse Snack
“Sometimes we get stressed during the holidays because we’re hungry and in need of an energy-providing snack,” Gorin says. “I like to keep healthy snacks in my purse, such as KIND fruit-and-nut bars (I’m loving the Almond & Apricot bar right now). The bars provide a satiating combination of healthy fat, fiber, and protein.”
Listen to Music
Whether you are at work or running errands, listen to music. “Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music,” according to Psych Central. “This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.”
Email a Friend
Gorin says that “connecting with friends and loved ones can increase mood, especially during the holidays when your pals could probably use a friendly word, too.”
Eat a Distraction-Free Meal