It’s hard to believe that November is already here! This year has flown by and the start of the holiday season is just about here! This time of year is always busy for everyone. And with the holiday season comes a lot of additional stress. This means that the clients you are working with will be feeling the stress as well. And it could derail their current health protocol. That is why it is important to have a holiday stress management plan ready for your clients, to help prevent that from happening!
As a practitioner, you work hard with your clients to help them feel better and to get well. And you know how important eating the right foods, getting good sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress are for your clients. But when the holidays roll along, suddenly your clients are faced with plenty of sugary snacks and junk food, sleep deprivation, not enough exercise and lots of stress!
But these things are creating more stress. And you are already trying to get rid of with your clients! And it can undermine the progress you’ve been making! You can help your client reduce the stress of the holidays and stay on track. You just need to have a stress management plan. And we have some great tips and tricks to help both you and your clients not lose ground with their health this holiday season!
Of course, as a practitioner you will experience stress during the holidays as well, so these tips will work to keep you healthier during the holiday season too! It’s always good to practice what you preach!
Here are some tips to share with your clients:
- Check in with yourself! It is amazing how many times you can go through the day on autopilot without ever checking in to see how you are feeling at that moment. With all of the running around and obligations of the season, the stress can build up to unhealthy levels without you even being aware of it. Check in with yourself! Take a minute or two a few times each day and see how you are really feeling. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then you can take action to reduce those stress levels ASAP!
- Get organized. Come up with a game plan for the holidays. Planning in advance and having things organized for the holidays can do a lot for reducing your stress level. Investing in a holiday organizer or find some great, free holiday organizing sheets online (there are a lot of them out there) can help you to get organized. Taking some time to make some plans will help you to avoid being frazzled and burnt out in December.
- Make sleep a priority! It is so easy to stay up late trying to get everything checked off your to-do list. But ending up with sleep deprivation is not the way to go! When you don’t get enough sleep, your productivity goes down and the amount of mistakes you make increases. Lack of sleep will also increase your cravings for junk food and will make it more difficult for you to handle stress too. So be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night! You will actually get a lot more done if you do!
- Get moving! When the holiday season is in full swing and your schedule is packed, that is when it is even more important to not skip regular exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which will help you feel good and can also help to lower your cortisol levels if they are high. If you can, try to get at least 15-30 minutes of gentle to moderate exercise each day. That will help to lower your stress…and help to keep away the extra pounds from when you eat a few sugary holiday goodies.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate! I’m not sure why, but some people feel as if they have to do everything themselves to get through the holiday season. This is where it would be good for you to have a list of what needs to be done! Then you can take a look at that list and see which tasks you need to do yourself, and which ones you can have others do for you. You aren’t super-human, and attempting to be so will just lead you to being burnt out by January 1st. Delegating tasks doesn’t mean that you are less of a person…it just means that you are human and need a little help from time to time! We all do.
- Just breathe. When you take the time to do some deep breathing, it can significantly reduce your stress levels. When you take nice, relaxed, deep breaths, it will slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels. Take a few minutes throughout the day to slowly breathe in through your nose and breath out through your mouth. You can do this pretty much anywhere, any time!
- Take time to laugh! Laughing actually reduces stress, so find some time to “make merry” and have some laughs with family or friends. You can watch a funny, holiday movie, drive around town and look for the craziest Christmas light displays, spend an evening playing board or card games with family or friends. Have fun and laugh a lot! That will reduce your stress…and you’ll have fun too!
- Don’t be afraid to say no! You already have a lot on your plate during the holidays, so it’s okay to say no to things that will add more stress and overwhelm you. If a lady at church asks you to bring three dozen homemade cookies for the yearly bake sale, or your family decides that you should cook Christmas dinner for 15 people, you don’t automatically have to say yes. It’s okay for you to say no if it’s just too much for you.
- Be prepared. With the holidays come lots of parties, family gatherings and lots of not so healthy food. No matter where you turn, there are plenty of sugary goodies available. Despite your best attempts to stay away from all of the goodies, you WILL indulge during the holidays. But you don’t have to indulge every time something sinful comes your way! Choose a couple of events or parties where you do want to indulge and allow yourself to indulge in moderation. But the rest of the time, just say no! Avoid the table of goodies at the office and bring healthy snacks and foods that you can eat instead. You could also bring a healthy dish or two to any Christmas party you are attending. Or eat a healthy meal before you attend a party so that you can avoid overindulging once you get there.
- Eat plenty of healthy meals! The temptation to run through the fast food drive through while you are out doing your Christmas shopping or while running to your child’s Christmas play will be great throughout the holidays. Instead, find healthy meals that are quick and easy to prepare! If you don’t have one, get yourself an inexpensive slow cooker or electric pressure cooker. These are very handy and can help you make healthy meals with little fuss!. There are simple recipes for both that require little prep time, and can either cook all day (slow cooker) or be done quickly (pressure cooker). Make extras and have leftovers on hand. Fix a few freezer meals for your slow cooker. Then all you’ll have to do is pour the contents into your slow cooker and let it cook all day!
It is important to take care of yourself during this busy time of year! You can help yourself stay on track and stay healthy by following these tips. You’ll be sure to have a healthier holiday if you do!
Want to share these tips with your clients?