work-related stressReprinted with permission of author

  1. Forget perfection---Stop obsessing over doing it all.
  2. Take a whiff of citrus---Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
  3. Hike your mood with sunlight---It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder(SAD)
  4. Squeeze here---The fleshy place between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure there for just 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body.
  5. Do less, enjoy more--"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying ‘no’ once—and maybe more."
  6. Consider abandoning old customs---Abandoning old customs can be a good strategy if you're lonely or grieving. Experiment with a different culture's customs, or invite isolated colleagues over and start some new traditions.
  7. Go tech-free---Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry.
  8. Savor a spicy meal---Hot foods trigger the release of endorphins—the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being.
  9. Eat breakfast before you tank up on coffee---Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can cause attention problems and irritability.
  10. Turn up the tunes--- Listen to your favorite music. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.
  11. Don't over schedule---If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don't over schedule your time and take on more than you can manage.