Find Your Personal Zen and Avoid Stress this Holiday


With each and every holiday comes lots of festivity, and more than likely, time spent with family and friends. Along with the good times often comes the hustle and bustle of travel, last minute shopping and rich holiday foods, which can bring a bit of added stress to your life. By incorporating these tips from Ellen Nalaboff, owner of Ellen’s Fitness Studio and a certified health counselor and life coach, you can enjoy yourself and counteract any taxing moments by tapping into your own inner Zen.

1. Just Breathe.
Every time you feel stress building up stop what you are doing and take your focus to your breath. Take a deep breath in on the count of 4 and fill your lungs. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale, slowly emptying your lungs for a count of 4. Repeat this 4 to 5 times.

2. Find time to exercise.
Take a 20-minute walk outdoors, breathe in deeply and notice the trees and sky. This can change your body chemistry in a very positive way and will calm your nervous system.

3. Pay attention to the foods you are eating.
If you fill your body up with foods that are stressful on the system you will weaken your immunity and create more stress. Stay clear of sugar and keep the stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol to a minimum. The key here is balance.

4. Take a few moments to listen to relaxing music.
Classical music works magic on calming both the brain and body. It can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that is linked to stress.

5. Make time every day to unplug.
Most of us spend a good part of our days talking on cell phones, texting and sitting in front of our computers.
Sit quietly and read a book or have a cup of tea; try a massage or a warm bath.

In our fast paced world, it is ever so important to remember to slow down. When we’re in holiday mode we often feel rushed to pack in experiences and make up for lost time with people, while we miss out on the true joy of the season. With Ellen’s calming tips, you can be sure to carve out those moments just for you, and ensure a holiday that shines on every level!