therapeutic massage
by Chris Link, CMT
The holidays are a time of joy and celebration . . . for some of us. For others, it’s a time of increased stress, sadness, or even depression. Massage offers stress reducing benefits that, when combined with other wellness strategies, could take you from bah humbug to happy holidays in no time!
As you give gifts, remember to give yourself the gift of health and wellness. Take time to decompress. A weekly therapeutic massage throughout the holiday season is a great way to reduce stress and increase the holiday spirit. You might also try soaking in a warm bath, meditating, taking a yoga class, practicing Pilates, or even setting aside time to enjoy a hobby.

Reduce Holiday Stress and Depression

Consider these additional four tips, adapted from the Mayo clinic, to further help reduce holiday stress and depression:

Acknowledge Your Feelings

If you’ve lost a friend or family member this year, it’s normal to feel sadness around the holidays. Acknowledge your feelings. If it would help, share you feelings with a friend or professional who can offer support. Don’t force yourself to be happy. Accept where you’re at this year and know it won’t always be this way.

Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits

Don’t abandon healthy practices just because it’s the holidays. Try these suggestions instead:

  • Exercise every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Eat something healthy before going to a holiday party, so you don’t overindulge.
  • Add healthy wellness practices to your holiday calendar. Don’t wait until you have time for them. Make time.
  • Get sufficient sleep. 

Take a Breather

Spending short increments of time alone or practicing self-care activities daily may give you the boost you need to manage holiday stress.

  • Take a long walk and enjoy nature’s beauty.
  • Read a book.
  • Treat yourself with a private Pilates lesson, barre class, or therapeutic massage.
  • Listen to soothing music.

Learn to Say No

You can’t say yes to everything and stay balanced and healthy. Eliminate the “shoulds” in your life. And practice saying no, especially when you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. When you add something to your calendar, remember to take something off as well. You can’t do it all—at least not without damaging your physical and emotional health.
Remember, it’s important to care for you mind and body throughout the year. As the current year comes to an end, may you can find peace and happiness now and in the year ahead. And I wish you all seasonal joy… even if it only comes in hourly increments through self-care or the caring hands of skilled massage therapists.