How to get relief from holiday stress

How to get relief from holiday stress

December may bring more than just presents. "The holidays can add extra stress to your life even though the season is supposed to bring more joy," says highly rated massage therapist Sheri Sable of Pittsburgh.

She and other highly rated massage therapists share tips to help you relax during this hectic season:

  • If sugarplum dreams are keeping you awake at night, Sable suggests using essential oils. "Put a few drops of lavender oil into a hot bath to relax or directly on your pillow to help you sleep," she says.
  • Give yourself a gift. "Having a massage is a perfect way to honor your body and become aware of what it needs," says Marie Bucher, a massage therapist in Wichita, Kan. "When you're feeling your best, those around you also feel better."
  • Plan ahead. "If you leave scheduling a massage until the last minute, other holiday tasks get in the way," says Steve Albertson, owner of Steve Albertson Massage Therapy in Evanston, Ill.
  • Check your pre-massage to-do list. "Schedule a massage when you have time to enjoy it," Bucher says. "Get to your appointment early and don't eat a heavy meal before the massage."
  • To experience comfort and joy, tell your therapist what you like. "I encourage my clients to share with me — in regards to touch and pressure — so they get the best massage," Sable says. Mark Hollenstein, a highly-rated massage therapist in San Francisco, adds you should only disrobe if it doesn't make you tense. "A therapist can work around undergarments and cover you with a sheet."

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