The holidays can be a time of joy, but for many of us (myself included!), the holidays can also be a time of stress.

I got married when I was in my mid-4o’s. It was my first marriage to a divorced man with two grown children.

This holiday season was really trying. My husband’s son called and told him he didn’t want to spend the holidays with “you or your wife.” It was so hurtful. He got over whatever was bothering him and joined us, but I can tell you it caused me a lot of stress.
I am a very sensitive person – my feelings get hurt easily. And on top of that I have a sensitive system – I have multiple food sensitivities, I can’t walk down the household cleaner aisle at the grocery store without gagging, I can’t drink coffee because it makes me jittery…well, you get the picture.
So in order for me to handle the stress of daily living, it’s really important for me to practice self-care.
I truly believe it’s important for everyone to practice self-care, not only for their emotional well-being, but for their entire being, and that’s why I want to share these tips with you.

Here are my five tips to help you decrease your stress and increase your happiness this holiday season and beyond:

1. Eat whole foods. Yes, food can help improve your mood! Studies show that certain foods can help reduce stress and ease anxiety. Here are a some that you can include in your diet today: Dark chocolate, fruits and vegetables, salmon and green tea.

2. Move your body. Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

3. Relax with Reiki. Reiki is an integrative healing modality that helps to improve the energy flow of the body. Recipients commonly report the following “side-effects” of a Reiki session: calmness, relaxation, and a feeling of balance.

The wonderful thing about Reiki is that it is simple to learn, and then you can practice self-care with Reiki on a daily basis!

4. Be grateful. Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” will help you to notice all of the blessings in your life.

5. Be Mindful.  When you are able to be mindful, you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. It’s about learning to observe without getting caught up in thinking or worrying. Mindfulness has been shown to help us be healthier, less affected by stress, more relaxed, improve our relationships with others and feel happier and more satisfied with our lives.

Try at least one of these tips today and you will be on your way to a happier, healthier you- for the holidays and beyond!

I’d love for you to share what helps you deal with your holiday stress. Feel free to post a comment below!

Janine Gilarde is a  Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Reiki Teacher, and Registered Nurse. She takes a holistic approach to wellness; Reiki and healthy lifestyle changes contributed to her ability to manage her own health and weight issues and she is on a mission to help others do the same.

Janine is committed to providing support to individuals so that they can manage their weight, increase their energy, and reduce their stress for improved health, well-being and healing. To learn more, please visit her website: Coach4HealthyLiving.com

Ready to get started? Schedule a Free 30 minute strategy session and learn how to reach and sustain a healthy mind, body, spirit and lifestyle.

Coaching for Healthy Living- helping to transform lives by focusing on the whole person.

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