Holiday stress has a nasty way of manifesting itself into our body and making us want to say bah humbug. May it be an achy lower back, tight shoulders or a nasty tension headache… these are all things I hear constantly from my massage clients.
Here are my top 5 tips to help you manage those aches and pains and keep you jolly during the holiday season.
Create a 5 minute morning routine. It has become a habit for us to wake up, roll over and grab our phones. This immediately gets us into the same mindset we left behind from the night before. Try this instead... hit your snooze button and give yourself 5 minutes to start the day right. Stretch your arms above your head, hug your knees into your chest and shake your head “yes” and “no.” Then say to yourself a daily mantra, such as “today I am going to let the little things go.”
Take a sniff of something uplifting. Did you know that smell is the most powerful sense we have? So put it to use! Find a smell that immediately uplifts you or brings back pleasant memories. This could be your favorite perfume, a seasonal candle or even just peeling an orange can be a mood lifter. If you’re into essential oils keep your favorite in your purse or desk drawer and take a sniff when your stress level starts to creep up!
Say “no” to something you know isn’t good for you. Here’s a little secret, when you start to take control of the little things in your life, you have the confidence to tackle the bigger things. So maybe you’ve been wanting to skip the morning donut, or say no to the late night ice cream. Or maybe it’s saying no to a social commitment you’ve been dreading, or finally standing up to that co-worker who seems to take advantage of your niceness. Little “no’s” to things we know aren’t serving us give us the confidence to make even bigger changes in our lives.
Exercise and move. It’s been proven that exercise releases those feel-good endorphins, so make exercise a priority. I know you have a job with long hours, or kids that need you or a never-ending list of to-do’s haunting you. But put it all aside and give yourself time to work on you, may it be a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood or a full-hour CardioYoga class, make it a priority at least 3 times a week!
Get a massage, from a professional or yourself. Massages work on both our physical and mental well-being. Here’s a great DIY tip that only requires a tennis ball. Place the tennis ball on the muscle that is causing you the most pain (this is great for your glutes, low back and upper traps), and slowly lower your body on to the ball. From here gently roll back and forth on the tender area, make sure you are taking deep breaths as this can be intense! Or, why not try a massage at CardioYoga? Now until the New Year you can get a massage for 25% off! What a great way to start the New Year off fresh and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.