Now is the time to get outside
The holiday season can bring unwanted guests into your life; no I am not talking about the in-laws! I am talking about stress and depression.
Get outside at a Virginia State Park over the holidays to help relieve stress
Unfrazzle me dude
With the holidays comes added stress pummeling us from all sides. The kids are home on school break and wound up tight, anxious to get this whole "presents under the tree" thing going. Relatives are coming to town, some we have not seen all year or even less.
Baking, cleaning, preparing, shopping, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, crowds, cantatas, parties, budget-busting…
Everyone is busy busy busy
I have a suggestion and I promise it won't cramp your busy style, but in fact will enhance it:
Virginia State Parks are open – we're here for you bro! It's time to come for a visit and bring the dog, bring the bikes, bring the kids. A thermos of hot cocoa won't go amiss. Come out and walk or bike our trails removing yourself for a short time in space to breathe in some fresh air, get your muscles moving and your heart rate up in a healthy way. Stress over the holidays can take you down fast; it can disturb your immune system and drop your fight in preventing colds and flus.
Take some time to get outside and get that blood flowing again at a Virginia State Park
Something super contagious
The saying "Laughter is the best medicine" is right on. Not only is laughter contagious, more so than a cough or sneeze, but it is good for you! When laughter is shared it brings people together, it lightens the mood, lightens the load, and can even trigger a boost to your immune system and decreases stress hormones.
Here is a special nugget to consider: Laughter is free!
Laughter is another antidote to stress over the holidays, don't think you need to imbibe to laugh, you don't. You can even promote a healthy heart from the inside out with laughter; it promotes blood flow and the healthy function of blood vessels. In other words, you can help prevent a heart-attack by laughing! How is that for being just what the doctor ordered? So when you begin to feel overwhelmed at this time of year, find something funny and share it, as laughing with others makes it even more contagious!
Here are some laughter inducing ideas:
- Watch a funny movie
- Listen to a comedian online or on TV (check out clean comedy)
- Play Pictionary
- Go the the card section of the store and read funny greeting cards
- Goof around with the kids (nieces and nephews, grandkids, etc can be a very funny experience)
- Look up some funny jokes online and have family members read them aloud
- Silly Hat or Ugly Sweater Contests (for the family and friends over the holidays)
- Karaoke (Yes this can indeed make you laugh, invite everyone to participate and I guarantee there will be some howling laughter especially when Dad sings "Girls just wanna have fun")
Spending some time with family playing games can induce plenty of laughter
Take some time for yourself
Another recommendation is that taking aside for yourself just 15 minutes today will make a huge impact in your well-being. Just 15 minutes listening to some music of your choice, singing along always helps me (it brightens my spirit to sing along). Enjoying a long soak in the bathtub, relaxing with a good book, these are all great stress relievers to help refresh you in addition to getting outside.
Take back the reigns
Over the holiday season the money seems to run dry with all the events, shopping, and eating out in high demand. I recommend you take back the control and set a budget before getting sucked into the holiday vortex and stick to it. Everything is shiny and bright and on sale right now, don't fall for it! Buyer's remorse is another stress inducer that many of us fall into after we spend too much, and typically on stuff we don't even need.
A gift of your time
This is a hard pill to swallow when the commercials are screaming at you day and night "BUY BUY BUY!" and you feel the consuming fire to shop shop shop…then the after Christmas Sales! Consider this: Your family and friends would much rather have you than something wrapped up, I realize this goes against the grain of every drop of advertising you have ever heard, but it is true.
Keep the main thing the main thing
It's not too late
Start out the New Year joining us for a First Day Hike at your park of choice. Every click here for more details.
I hope to see you outside for some playtime at a Virginia State Park during these holidays, don't forget to bring your smile, and count your blessings