School’s out, the kids are home for the holidays and you’re scrambling to get everything done before the big day. Sound like your house? I think it’s safe to say that the previous description is quite suited for most families during this time of year!
Let’s take today for example. We have a recreation room and my children have a playroom in addition to their bedroom, yet as I sit here writing this article my girls are playing hair salon next to my desk while my son plays the Toca Boca Band app on the loudest setting imaginable. I’m wearing a superhero cape on backwards and my girls are playing with my hair as I type. Welcome to the holidays!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love having my children home with me! The thing is, children have a tough time channeling their copious amounts of energy which means there is an abundance in the house. I have found that if you’re surrounded by too much energy, it can completely drain you of your own — which is a little ironic if you think about it. In order to regain my own sense of self and keep myself centered and calm, there are certain practices that are put into play — from yoga to tea time alone. These little techniques help me stay calm and boost my positive energy!
In the next few hours I have two conference calls, two meals to make, guests to entertain and four projects that need to be completed. I can promise you that I will take time out to do at least one of the following!
Embrace The Light 1 of 10
Did you know that your mood can be affected by something as simple as light? Thanks to the longer periods of darkness, the winter months are known to cause depression and anxiety. You can treat SAD, aka seasonal affective disorder with artificial light as it tends to elevate your mood and decrease stress levels.
Another tip — take advantage of sunny days! Get outside and absorb some vitamin D. It will do wonders for you overall.
Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr
Show a Little Affection 2 of 10
Hug your partner and show a little affection. Did you know that hugging someone you love and care about can help to reduce anxiety, stress and fear? It also lowers blood ressure and increases your oxytocin levels. Be sure to hug someone you know well though as unwanted hugs are known ot provide the opposite affect.
Photo credit: ganesha.isis/Flickr
Source: Medical University of Vienna
Chocolate 3 of 10
Chocolate makes everything better. No, really it does! According to a NestlÃ© study, if you eat a small amount of dark chocolate every day you can help to reduce your stress by lowering the hormones that are known to cause anxiety.
If chocolate isn't your thing, you're in luck as there are quite a few different foods that lower stress levels. Bananas and avocados are high in potassium, a mineral known fo keeping blood pressure levels low. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pistachios are also a great snack to have on hand as they are high in zinc, vitamin E and B vitamins (known to help reduce stress).
Web MD has a list of foods that are great for stress management.
Photo credit: John Loo/Flickr
Shut The Phone Off 4 of 10
Don't put the phone away — shut it off. It's too tempting if you leave it on. Instead, shut off the electronics and step away for an hour or *gasp* an entire day! You'd be surprised at how much stress builds up with constant phone calls and emails.
Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr
Music 5 of 10
Calming sounds and classical music is great for taking things down a notch. Although I prefer listening to other genres of music, natural sounds, classical music and jazz are very relaxing. They also do a great job in the inspiration department, if you're looking for music to listen to as you work.
Photo credit: China Blu/Flickr
Walking 6 of 10
Yoga 7 of 10
This is my favorite way to release stress! Take a 40 minute break and head to your local yoga studio for a class, or if you're like me — pop in a DVD, pull out a mat and do a class in the comfort of your own home. Even if the kids run around beside me, a full session of yoga does wonders for my stress levels. If you're looking for a DVD recommendation, Shiva Rea's sequences are wonderful!
Photo credit: RelaxingMusic/Flickr
Tea 8 of 10
There's something about a hot pot of tea that is the ultimate stress-reliever. A cup of tea is oh so soothing and warms you from head to toe.
Photo credit: Philou.cn/Flickr
Dance Like No One Is Watching 9 of 10
Yes, that's right, I said dance! Grab the kids, turn up the tuns and have yourself a dance party. Show them how it's down and go a little crazy. You'll feel so much better afterwards, I promise.
Photo credit: uwdigitalcollections/Flickr
Meditate 10 of 10
My grandmother always told me that when you feel as though you're about to raise your voice or lose yourself in the moment, close your eyes and count to ten very slowly. Her advice is also what many call "meditation."
Grandmothers are always right.
Photo credit: RelaxingMusic/Flickr
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.