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How to manage holiday stress

While the arrival of the holidays means twinkling lights will deck houses and you’ll set the table for fabulous dinners, it also signals the season for additional stress. Between stretching paychecks to cover the cost of gifts and finding room in your home for guests, the hustle and bustle can zip the cheer right out of the air. Make the most of this special time of year by managing stress with these following tips:

Use your personal massager

Unwinding with a massage is an effective path to relaxation, and studies have demonstrated this therapy’s stress-relieving capabilities. A pilot study published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry assessed the effects of massage on reducing anxiety, aggression and stress on young adults adults in a psychiatric inpatient unit. Researchers combined standard treatment protocols with 20 minutes of daily massage therapy for seven weeks. They found that massage had immediate benefits for relieving anxiety and may be advantageous for de-escalating stress.

When you have a few minutes to spare this holiday season (maybe while the turkey is in the oven or before guests arrive), treat yourself to a shoulder rub with the Moji Curve PRO or the Moji Mini PRO. To experience the extra relief of an ice massage, stick the device in the freezer beforehand.

Stick to a healthy routine

If you’ve been getting your daily physical activity and eating right all year long, don’t let your routine go to the wayside during the holiday season. Even if you haven’t been as diligent as you should, get started today. Not only will sticking to a healthy regimen stave off stress-causing guilt from indulging in holiday goodies, but exercising reduces anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

If you live in an environment where it snows, consider signing up for a gym membership. Not only will you be able to exercise in a temperature-controlled space, but going to the gym also gives you an excuse to escape a hectic household. Additionally, fight the temptation of binge eating pumpkin pie by opting for low-fat and sugar-free desserts this year.

Know when to say no

Often, stress results from not having enough time to get everything done. While you can’t stop the clock, you can certainly control the number of items on your to-do list. For some folks, that’s hard to do, especially if you’ve made it a habit to take on extra responsibilities. This holiday season, avoid the overload with a simple two-letter word: no. If you just can’t stand the thought of cooking for 20 family members, suggest an alternative. For example, offer to bake the turkey and have everyone else bring side dishes. On the other hand, you can simply express to your family that you’re too overwhelmed to host the holiday dinner. They should understand and offer their support as need be.