Nov 14, 2017

Healthy Holiday Stress Relief for Moms

Brought to you by Vive Health

Looking for a healthier approach to your holiday stress relief? When it comes to planning family trips, dashing from one kid’s holiday performance to another, and scrambling to get a holiday treat together for the class party, moms are often the ones with the littlest time leftover and the biggest amounts of stress. Don’t miss these go-to healthy holiday stress relief ideas:

Take a Walk Outside
It almost sounds too simple, but taking a walk outside through nature has been shown to help boost attentiveness and reduce the inclination to brood on negative thoughts. With all the hustle and bustle of shopping and events aside, holidays tend to bring up feelings of anxiety, depression, and sometimes just sadness, especially when you reflect on the year and remember people you have lost. Start a healthy holiday habit of scheduling in a quick 15-minute nature walk during your day - it could be just around your neighborhood, or in a nearby park.

Try Yoga
Yoga is often touted for its benefits to help practitioners gain flexibility and strength, however, it has also been shown to help relieve stress and even lower high blood pressure levels. The core components of meditation and deep breathing have powerful physiological and mental benefits in helping the body relax tense muscles and the mind calm down and rid itself of the common barrage of thoughts (i.e. “have to get groceries!”, “what are the kids wearing to school tomorrow?”, have I made dinner?” etc). Join a class at a local yoga studio or simply stream free online tutorials on Youtube.

It doesn’t hurt that National Family Volunteer Day is Nov. 18th this year, or that the holidays are ripe with service opportunities for you and your family. Volunteering not only teaches your kids empathy, dedication, and the transformative power of helping others, but it can be a source of stress relief for you too. Helping pack boxes at the food bank, walking and grooming dogs at the animal shelter, making a meal for an elderly neighbor, even registering to walk/run in a charity 5K . . . the ideas are endless! Use services like and to find volunteer jobs near you.

Plan Online
Coordinating donations for a holiday gift for your child’s teacher? Organizing volunteers for the class party? Planning a big holiday potluck with friends and neighbors? The sheer amount of wrangling that happens at the holidays could make any mom throw her hands up in frustration, and that’s why taking advantage of digital solutions is a must. Free online signups from services like SignUpGenius and are great for coordinating who is bringing what to the class party or potluck. And free digital transaction services like Venmo and Facebook Payments let you collect money without an additional fee. Save time (and stress) by planning ahead and letting secure online services handle the email communication and reminders.

Prevent Travel Pains
Hitting the roads with tens of millions of other Americans this Thanksgiving? Planning to fly your entire family across the country in December? Whether you’re sitting for a long time in a car or on a cramped plane seat, chances are good that little aches and pains will follow. Prolonged sitting places added pressure on the spine which stresses back muscles and tendons. And falling asleep in an awkward position on a long trip can lead to inflamed and stiff neck muscles. Be prepared by traveling smart with items like lumbar spine pillows, travel seat cushions and neck pillows, disposable ice packs, and topical aids. The best pain relief cream for back pain should travel well, be easy to apply, and provide quick pain relief of sore and stiff muscles.

Use Aromatherapy
Sure the house smells amazing at Thanksgiving, but it’s a bit ambitious to try and have an apple pie baking in the oven every day just for the aroma. Instead, try aromatherapy with an essential oil aroma diffuser or candles with scents that help relax and calm you. While food-based aromas often nostalgically stir up fond memories, it’s actually scents like vanilla, lavender, sandalwood, and rosemary which research has shown have the ability to reduce anxiety, improve concentration, and boost happiness levels.

Get Crafty

It’s easy to splurge on art supplies and fun crafts for the kids, but what about you? Crafting is not just great exercise for your brain, but it can help lower your stress levels too. A 2016 study found that after just 45 minutes of art making, participants’ stress hormone (cortisol) levels actually decreased. Everything from coloring, to knitting, collaging, crocheting, making origami, scrapbooking and so forth workout your fine motor skills while giving your mind something beautiful and fun to focus on. Craft or art therapy essentially helps you push away negative thoughts and replace them with creativity and confidence.

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer: