Looking to De-Stress This Holiday Season?

When the Holidays roll around I know I tend to stress out over everything. Is my tree cute enough? Are my gifts good enough? Do I have the money to buy everyone what they deserve? Also, everything seems to go wrong. My car always seems to have a problem only $400 will fix. Today I actually found a leak in my back tire. A few years ago my bank account got hacked and I lost $50 (which for a college student is a lot). Two years ago I got ran off the road by a semi on my way back from de-stressing at the beach with my roommate. Any of these things can cause anyone to stress out. But there are some activities you can do help de-stress when that happens.

Ways to De-Stress

There are simple ways of de-stressing that most people enjoy. This can include going for a massage, meditating, sleeping, even going to the nail salon. Some people I know de-stress by going fishing, to the shooting range, and taking a nap. Everyone is different so everyones de-stress technique is going to be different as well.

Some interesting techniques I found help are chewing gum, eating a banana, crafting, and sitting in a rocking chair. Now of course deep breathes and meditation are still ways that can help, but these techniques stuck out to me because they’re different.

Chewing Gum

In 2008, a study was done on chewing gum and stress relief. The 40 participants were an average age of 22 and had their anxiety, alertness, and stress levels monitored while doing activities chewing gum and not chewing gum. The results showed an increase in alertness by 19%, relived anxiety by 17%, and reduced stress by 16%. Comparing performance when chewing gum and not chewing gum, there was an improvement when chewing gum by 67%.

Eating a Banana

Bananas help with reducing anxiety because they are natural beta-blockers, meaning bananas prevent adrenaline from binding to beta receptors. This decreases both pulse rate and blood pressure. Bananas also have a load of potassium which helps calm stress levels along with the protein tryptophan and mineral magnesium which helps relax stress levels and your mood. Eating two bananas is more affective than one, so next time you get stressed try eating TWO bananas.


According to M.D. Perri Klass, repetitive motions such as fine motor skills used to knit, make jewelry, or cross-stitch, help soothe anxiety and depression. The simple motions are rhythmic but habitual and require almost no concentration and attention. Also, the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found people who participate in crafting tend to be happier. This was found to be because the mind is taken off of stressful situations and focused on crafting which also brought on peaceful thoughts.

Sitting in a Rocking Chair

The University of Rochester found nursing home residents with dementia rock away their anxiety and depression even their stress levels. Researcher Nancy Watson said the activity of rocking back and forth brings piece of mind to many residents there. Even the gentle repetitive motion has a soothing effect which reduces stress levels itself.

There are hundreds of ways to de-stress your mind and body, you just have to find which way works best for you.