Simple ways to combat stress & give the gift of relaxation this holiday season


TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL)- The holiday season is upon us and between shopping and dealing with family and other commitments added stress can come with it.

Brianna Bedigian, yoga teacher and author of “Healing Footstep to Footstep”, has some practical ways to reduce stress. Bedigian discovered the power of stress management about 15 years ago when she struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. “Stress management was a key to my healing,” she said. “It’s about finding the right combination that works for you. Really simple things can make a big difference.”

Bedigian shares a few ideas to help combat holiday stress:

Give the gift of relaxation: Aromatherapy products make awesome gifts. Not only are they healing – they are simple and affordable to make. If you don’t want to blend the essential oils there are plenty of blends you can buy at the store, making whipping up gifts even simpler. Make sure you dilute any essential oil that you use – they should not be applied directly to the skin.

  • Bath Salts – so easy and people think they are amazing! To make them even more special use a mixture of salts like: Epsom Salts with Himalayan Pink salt or mix in some dried flowers.
  • Roller Ball – to really impress people with your skills get some roller balls. Mix together essential oils directly into the roller and fill with Grape Seed Oil to dilute.

Do yoga: It does not need to be complex. It does not require flexibility. In fact, in relation to stress release the simpler and more supportive the better!

  • Constructed Relaxation for stress: The Psoas muscle, which is one of the longest muscle pairs in the body, is considered to be the muscle of fight and flight. If you are stressed I guarantee you that your Psoas is contracted. One of the simplest was to release the Psoas and calm yourself down is to rest in Constructed Relaxation. It is SO simple and you can even do it in bed. Start on your back. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet hips distance apart. Place your palms at your sides. Try to be completely still and breathe deep for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Breathe: It always goes back to the breath. How you breathe tells your nervous system how to respond. Deep breathing is a wonderful way to relax anytime, anywhere. When we breathe deep it tells our nervous system it is safe to relax. You can do this whenever you feel your body tensing up during the day… reset the breath by focusing on the exhaling breath. The more air you get out the more air you will get back in because of the lungs’ natural suction capacity. Sighing is a powerful tool. Feeling overwhelmed let your breath make some noise. Don’t forget to crank up the tunes and sing it out. Singing makes us breathe fully and deeply. Or HUM. Humming is a simple way to length the breath. It also vibrates the sinuses and when that happens they release nitric oxide which helps you relax – that is not woo woo, that is science. (can demo with anchors if time for fun way to end)

Drink tea: Sometimes all that bounty makes our stomachs go a bit wonky. A simple remedy is ginger tea. You can of course buy tea bags but fresh is best. Bring two cups and 2 inches of ginger to boil then reduce to low and allow it to steep together for 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and pour in into a mug. Add a little local honey, juice of half a lime and a couple cracks of black pepper. Drink once it is cool enough for you.

To learn more about how to combat holiday stress, visit Brianna Bedigian’s blog.

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