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Managing Holiday Stress

Updated: Feb 7


Managing Holiday Stress

The turkey has come and gone, and the holiday season is officially upon us. This season is a joyous time filled with overeating, hectic travel, and quality time with friends and family. But, while many of us look forward to the season all year long, others are less than enthusiastic.

It’s not because we don’t enjoy it, but this particular season can wreak havoc on a person's mental and physical health.


Many people report increased stress during the holidays as they strive to create the “perfect” holiday for families and friends. This often means balancing an already hectic schedule with work, social obligations, holiday shopping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping, and baking. Others are faced with financial stress, worrying over how to complete the gift list without breaking the bank.


From shopping and hosting to gifting and traveling, there is no shortage of holiday stressors. But remember, this season is about enjoying time with family and friends, so we put together this list of ways to help you manage holiday stress.


The APA Axis and The Stress Response

Take a Deep Breath

When you find yourself getting caught up in anxious thoughts about how you’ll manage your to-do list, stop, count to ten, and take a deep breath. One of the simplest ways to calm your nerves as tensions rise is to practice more mindful breathing. Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for the body's rest, digestion, and relaxation response. There are many different breathing practices, but the one below is simple for anyone to master.


Four, Seven, Eight

The key to this exercise is to remember the numbers 4, 7, and 8. Here’s how to do it:


  • Place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. (You will hold this tongue position for the entire breathing process.)

  • Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of FOUR

  • Hold your breath to the count of SEVEN

  • Exhale through your mouth to the count of EIGHT, making an audible “woosh” sound as you exhale.


That’s it. These four steps complete one full breath. Repeat the above breathing cycle for a total of three times. You can do the 4-7-8 exercise as frequently as you want or need throughout the day. The benefits of this simple breathing practice can go a long way to calming your nervous system anytime you’re feeling stressed.


Have a Cup of Tea

There’s nothing quite as soothing as a warm cup of tea, but if you make the right selection, you can help support your nervous system with every sip. Chamomile, for instance, is well-known for calming the spirit. As anervine,” it specifically helps support the nervous system and regulates anxiety. Other great choices would be any blend that contains rose, lavender, or Holy basil (Tulsi.) Each of these herbs has adaptogen, nervine, and immunomodulating qualities to help restore a state of calm when stress is high.


Get Physical

Between travel and friends and time spent visiting, for many, the holiday season can mean less opportunity for movement and exercise. This can be bad not only for your waistline but for your stress levels as well.


Take time each day throughout the season to get physical. Try doing simple stretches in the morning, or encourage visiting family and friends to take daily walks on the river trail. Research shows that exercise helps to modulate dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals linked with treating depression, and it also improves mood while reducing stress and anxiety.


Add Upper Cervical Chiropractic to Your Routine

Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the topmost bones in the spine, the atlas, and the axis. This area houses most of the body’s reflex centers, the spinal cord, the brainstem, and the central nervous system. The nervous system is the master control panel of our body.


Optimal communication between the body and the brain via the nervous system helps with not only stress management but stress reduction as well. An injured, damaged, or less-than-optimally functioning nervous system can increase the effects of stress on the body. Upper cervical chiropractic can help resolve some of the stress you may have already experienced and prepare you to manage the rest of the upcoming holiday season like a champ.


Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care

Upper cervical care is the gift that keeps on giving with benefits like pain reduction, better sleep, improved mood, and increased immune function. Put your health and wellness at the top of the gift list this holiday season. To schedule a free consultation with your Durango upper cervical chiropractor, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, drop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, or, better yet, click the link below at any time. You could be a gentle correction away from a happier, healthier holiday season!


Free Consultation

Notice of Disclaimer

We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.


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