Top 5 Ways to Beat Stress this Holiday Season


The holiday season is upon us! Decorations, picking out special gifts for loved ones, spending time with family and friends, holiday baking, hot chocolate, classic movies and traditions, there are so many things to love about this time of year! That said, it can also be a bit of whirlwind, and with so much to do, it can be a time of stress as well. Read on to see our top 5 tips to help you manage stress through the holidays with fitness and nutrition.


1. Get Up 15-20 Minutes Earlier — Develop a morning routine to set the tone for your day. Start off with a few deep, mindful breaths and a healthy, protein-packed breakfast. Take it a step further and go for a walk or stretch, get your blood flowing and take times for yourself before jumping into work or other obligations.

2. Plan Ahead — Mood, focus, and stress are all be impacted by nutrition, and not surprisingly, junk food tends to bring us down, failing to provide what we need as well as depleting vital nutrients. When we plan ahead, we are less likely to turn to fast food or other junk, especially when we are on the go. Make a healthy shopping list and meal prep ahead of time so you have healthy meals and snacks to power you through the week. This will not only help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals, but by nourishing yourself with whole foods you will be setting yourself up for success mentally and mood-wise as well.


3. Commit to Self-Care — Working out, managing stress, and eating healthy are the ultimate forms of self-care. You know the saying, you can’t fill from an empty cup. Make self-care a priority, and don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries and say “no” to over-scheduling yourself.


4. Remember to Breathe - Did you know that deep breathing has been found to be one of the best ways to decrease stress? When you breathe deeply, with long, slow exhales, it signals your brain to relax and body to relax. Check-in with yourself throughout the day and take a moment to take a few deep, mindful breaths. An easy way to remember is before meal time. If you need a bit more support, consider doing a 5-10 minutes breathing meditation or a yoga class, as they cue you to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths that can reduce tension and relieve stress.



5. Commit to Physical Activity — Whether its the gym, going for a walk or run, taking a group fitness class, or completing a workout routine at home, commit to some sort of physical activity. Choose a goal that’s attainable, and can realistically fit into your schedule — then make it a priority. For more people, 1 hour a day for 3 days a week is a realistic goal. Set your goal, commit to it — and then make the choice every day to show up for yourself. If you need some extra motivation, consider group classes. They add an extra level of support and accountability — with the added bonus of fun and friendship. A fitness program that provides these ingredients makes it much more likely that you will see it through.


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