According to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than half of all women (51%) and men (43%) in the US experience heightened stress during the holidays – enough stress to put them at increased risk for physical and mental health effects.
Balancing work and added family responsibilities, such as planning and attending holiday gatherings, shopping for gifts, cooking and losing precious down-time, leave many of us feeling stressed out when we should be enjoying the season.
A mom of four, a wife and a former medical malpractice lawyer, Holly Mosier understood stress very well – especially during the holidays. But at 50-years-old, you’d never believe she struggled with stress from her demeanor, healthy habits and fit body. She’s managed to defy her age by employing stress management tools (she has a six-pack at age 50!) and has unique tips for a stress-free holiday season.
I’d love to connect you with Holly to talk about these ideas (and more!):
Handling stress during the holidays (and avoiding holiday weight gain): Holly uses a tool that she calls “opting out” to minimize stress – she suggests opting out of
1. Celebrating the holiday on the actual “day”. Holly has been doing this for years. With a blended family, holiday stress increased ten-fold when trying to negotiate time with her children on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. By choosing a different day to celebrate, there is more time to celebrate and less stress associated with accommodating everyone.
2. Overspending on gifts. Overspending is a common holiday misstep, which causes holiday stress (and its ugly effects of increased appetite, fatigue and illness) to trail you into the next year as you attempt to pay off holiday bills. Opt to create a reasonable budget that you can actually afford, and stick to it.
3. Attending every holiday event. We all need some downtime to rejuvenate, but during the holidays we frequently feel pressured to accept every invitation. Holly finds it impossible to fully enjoy events when she arrives in a state of depletion. Take a day to recuperate in-between big gatherings. Determine your need for downtime, then only accept invitations that you truly want to enjoy and fit into your schedule.
Quick and easy workouts to do between holiday errands (yoga): Holly has workouts to keep fit that also help as natural de-stressers. Her 10-Minute-Yoga incorporates deep breathing and chest-opening exercises that help maintain the body and mind. She has quick workouts you can do in the airport, in the kitchen, wrapping presents, or sitting in your car!
Simple, Healthy, Holiday Recipes: Holly uses seasonal ingredients in recipes that are easy (more time with the family) and kid-tested (trialed by her own kids!). Like:
1. Holly’s Cheesy Chicken: Two chicken breasts covered in Swiss and provolone cheese, baked in cream of mushroom soup and topped with bread crumbs… mmm! And only 425 calories.
2. Holly’s Baked Apples: Cinnamon-baked, sweet apples that are only 100 calories each! Perfect for dessert, or a sweet side.
3. Holly’s Pita Pizza Taco: Need a quick lunch while prepping for a big family dinner? Holly uses 1 whole-wheat pita, ¼c spaghetti sauce and 2oz of low-fat shredded mozzarella to create a tasty and fulfilling taco – and it’s only 365 calories!
Holly is the author of Stress Less, Weigh Less, a book that introduces readers to practical stress-reduction tools and photo-illustrated exercises that help readers find mental-stress relief, the answer to permanent weight control. For more on Holly check out www.HollyMosier.com