Stress is common around the holidays. The days are shorter, the traffic heavier, the stores more crowded, the demands on our schedule get tighter … we all feel it.

Most people are unaware of their stress level until after the holiday season when they’re exhausted or sick. As stress builds, subtle changes take place that we don’t pay attention to since they seem so normal.

So, how can you manage stress and stay healthy? We sat down with Vera Whole Health Coach Tia Fukunaga and asked her to share some tips to mitigate stress during the holidays.

1. Pay attention to your body and conversations

What are they telling you?

  • What are some of the indicators that you’re falling off your normal self-care routine? (Not sleeping? Drinking too much coffee? Skipping exercise? Eating more sugar? Irritable?)
  • Imagine yourself in that unhealthy state, what would your body feel like? (Headaches? Upset stomach? Tired? Tense?)
  • What are the conversations you’re having? (Yelling at traffic? Snapping at the kids? Complaining to co-workers?)

2. Get clarity around what you really want

Who do you want to be and what do you want to be doing on a regular basis during this season? Maybe you want to express more gratitude during the holidays; maybe you want to take time with your kids instead of shopping for your kids. Maybe you want to make sure you get 8 hours of sleep because you know you’re grumpy when you don’t. Whatever those goals are, you’ve got to get clear on that vision so you know how to get there.

3. Strategize ways to lower your stress

Make a quick list of things that normally work for you when you want to lower your stress. Running, dancing, taking a time out? Everyone’s different – what works for you?

4. Set short-term goals

Take a look at the list you just made. Which one of your strategies sounds most appealing to you? Now, make a manageable goal you can keep in the middle of the holidays. If your de-stress strategy is normally to go for a walk but you tend to skip it during the winter, set a reasonable amount of time to walk, how many days you want to walk, and then check your goal by asking yourself how likely you are to do it. Remember, small goals make a big impact.

5. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals

Goals are an experiment. Sometimes we take on one that’s too big and get discouraged, and sometimes we find the goal isn’t giving us the satisfaction we’d hoped for. A Vera Health Coach will work with you to find the right goal that fits your life. It’s about finding the cracks in your life, and where you can actually make the shifts that have impact.

Give yourself a gift this holiday season

A Vera health coach can help you identify your stress indicators, visualize yourself as you want to be, strategize with you, help you set attainable goals, and encourage you to reach them. They can do this in 5 sessions or in 12. It’s up to you. Working with a coach on a short-term goal keeps you on track, and in the process of change.

Talk to a Vera coach this month about managing stress and give yourself the gift of good health and peace of mind this holiday season.

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