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Tips for de-stressing over the holidays

Emerald Health
Emerald Destress Tips

Tips for de-stressing over the holidays

For many, this can be the most stressful time of year

The holidays are here, and while the focus is on eating, drinking and being merry, for many people, it can be the most stressful time of the year.

While we can’t make all your worries magically disappear like cookies left for Santa, we can offer you some tried-and-true methods for staying sane. In the spirit of the season, here are a few stress-reducing “gifts” you can give yourself over the holidays.

The gift of relaxation

First, prepare for the holiday hassle by getting enough sleep. When sleep decreases, stress tends to increase. It’s easy to stay up late watching Hallmark movies and drinking eggnog – and, by all means, take time to enjoy the simple things – but a solid sleep pattern will work wonders.

Next, try not to interrupt your exercise routine. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, improving your health and mood and reducing anxiety. If you’re short on time, even a brisk walk will help.

Planning ahead will clear your plate and make it easier to juggle any last-minute hustling. So will saying no to things you don’t want to do. Be realistic about what responsibilities you can take on, and don’t feel guilty about saying no. All these things will pre-emptively help you manage your stress.

After that, once you’re in the thick of the holidays, there are some simpler things you can do to relax:

  • Listening to music, for one, can help reduce stress and elevate your mood.
  • The social aspect of holidays – being with friends and family – could help you relax, too.
  • There is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can help with stress and anxiety.

In short, just make sure you’re enjoying yourself – whether it’s the food, drinks or festivities.

The gift of acceptance

Another gift you can give this holiday season is the gift of acceptance. The holidays and new year are good times to open your mind and leave behind bad habits and preconceptions. This could mean learning to let go of grudges you’ve held onto, or it could mean accepting that some people don’t like your homemade sugar cookies. Either way, this is the season for shedding old baggage and starting anew.

Now that cannabis is legal, the holidays can be a good opportunity to talk to your friends and family about the stigma against people who consume it. We’ve even put together a few simple conversation topics you can start with. In the past, stigma against cannabis consumption has prevented people from seeking it out for its possible therapeutic benefits – maybe some of them are sitting around the table with you. This is a chance to let them know that public opinion has shifted, and a majority of Canadians now consider cannabis consumption socially acceptable.

The gift of mindfulness

What does it mean to be mindful? “Living in the moment” is another way to put it – it’s about being present and aware of yourself and the world around you. Some simple things you can do include meditation, which will have similar effects as exercising, or even just giving yourself time to take deep breaths or take some alone time.

Something else you can do to stay mindful: You can embrace the spirit of giving. It’s well-established that giving to others, especially to those less fortunate than you, can increase your own happiness:

  • Some studies have even found that giving can boost your physical health.
  • Volunteering can have positive effects on mental health, mortality and general well-being.

Giving – whether it’s our money or time – reminds us why the holidays are so important in the first place.

Emerald Health Therapeutics is a Health Canada Licensed Producer of cannabis – view all our products.

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