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Dr. Bradley Nelson
Dr. Bradley Nelson Holistic Physician
1mo St. George, Utah, United States Story
Six Self-Care Tips for Surviving the Holidays

Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are tools that can help to relieve the pressure and intensity of these hurtful feelings. Using these tools, and eventually mastering them, can make a world of difference in your daily experience, your health and wellness, your relationships and interactions, your work and family environment — truly in any area of your life. Here are six self-care tips to help you beat the blues this holiday season and all year long.

Mastering Emotions, Health and the Holidays

Unresolved emotions from difficult past experiences are a major cause of stress and anxiety. And for many people, the holidays are fraught with such emotions. Whether it’s trudging through mealtime with a dysfunctional family or dealing with feelings of loss and loneliness from spending the holidays alone, these can be stressful times that are disruptive to your body, your emotions and your routines.

Fortunately, there are steps anyone can take to tip the scales the other way, regain their emotional balance and keep themselves healthy both physically and emotionally. If you’d like to experience the holidays with less stress, more joy and improved physical and emotional wellness, give the following a try.

1. Choose Healthy Foods First: More and more research is emerging that shows healthy eating is not only a tool to prevent weight gain, but it can also help in the fight against depression and anxiety. Eat foods that are as close to nature as possible. For example, if you’re having a traditional holiday meal at a friend’s house, family gathering, or restaurant, fill up on things that are good for you. Start with a big salad and go for your vegetables first. This way, by the time you’re getting to the gravy and candied yams, you can eat smaller amounts of these less healthy items.

2. Know Which Foods to Skip: For starters, when shopping, avoid food products with a long list of ingredients. Any food that has to explain to you what is in it is probably not something that’s going to make your body feel good, and when your physical body is compromised you’re more likely to feel emotionally out of whack, too. Overdoing it on salty or sweet foods can have the same negative effects. Aim to skip these foods as much as possible, and when you do choose to have them, refer to the previous tip above and make sure you’ve had your fill of healthy foods first. This commitment to your health will support you in feeling better in general, not just during the holidays.

3. Keep Moving: Beat depression and stress with exercise. This can be as simple as getting outside and taking a walk. If you live somewhere that gets really cold at holiday time, try incorporating 10 minutes of stretching or indoor aerobic activity into your day. YouTube has many 10-minute workout options, and even a vigorous house cleaning session can get your blood pumping. Moving your body throughout the day burns away stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that can otherwise linger in your system for up to 24 hours after a stressful life-event, damaging your immune system and organs. Burning those hormones out of the blood with exercise prolongs your existence on the planet and helps you feel better while you’re here.

4. Drink Plenty of Water: We’ve all heard it said time and time again: our bodies are made up mostly of water. Every part of our physical being requires proper hydration to function optimally. When you’re at home, keep a full glass of water with you; on the go, carry a water bottle; when eating out (whether at a holiday dinner party or a restaurant), have a glass of water along with any other beverage you may be enjoying. Staying hydrated is key to avoiding excessive eating, and it also helps cleanse impurities from your body for better physical, emotional and mental health.

5. Practice Refocusing Your Thoughts: If you suffer from depression, you know all too well how easy it is to focus on the negative things in your life. However, the latest science shows that a commitment to repeatedly refocusing your thoughts on positive things has a measurable impact on your overall happiness and well-being. Regardless of whether it feels forced at first, get into the habit of listing each and every good thing in your life. The things on your list can be big or small, from the roof over your head and the most meaningful relationships in your life to something as simple as the feeling of warmth and coziness under your favorite blanket. You can make a written list in a journal or notebook; you can say these things to yourself on your commute or while taking a walk; you can even list them as you lay down your head at the end of the day — or all of the above! The more focus and attention you give to the good things in your life, the more happy feelings you will experience.

6. Find and Release Trapped Emotions: Emotional energy from past negative or traumatic events can become lodged in our mind and body. These trapped emotions may cause us to make wrong assumptions, experience anxiety and depression and even become physically ill. Trapped emotions can easily be located and removed using a simple technique called the Emotion Code. You ask yourself a series of questions using muscle testing to get a “yes” or “no” answer from your body — which is always clear on what it needs and what is good for it, even when your mind or emotions may try to rationalize other ways of being. Once you locate a trapped emotion and get a “yes” from your body on being willing to release it, you can use a magnet to guide this release. To experience this process for yourself, you can download a free copy of “The Emotion Code” book, which details all you need to know about muscle testing and finding and releasing trapped emotions.

Use these tips to change the way you experience your days any time of the year. Remember, you have the power to create the happy holiday times you’ll treasure most. These tools will help you create a new tradition of wellness.

About the Author: A holistic Chiropractic Physician and Medical Intuitive, Dr. Bradley Nelson is one of the world’s foremost experts in the emerging fields of Bioenergetic Medicine and Energy Psychology. He has certified thousands of practitioners worldwide in helping people overcome unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness and other negative emotions and the physical symptoms associated them. His bestselling book, "The Emotion Code," provides step-by-step instructions for working with the body's healing power. Download a free copy of the ebook and the audiobook by visiting

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1 comment

  • Sarah Fein
    1mo ago

    @Dr. Bradley Nelson I get high anxiety during the holidays at times and I have no idea why. It sneaks up on me, and I can't figure out if it's from grief over the loss of a loved one a few years back, if it's the stress of a new relationship or if it's financial stress. Do you have insights on what this could be? 

    @Dr. Bradley Nelson I get high anxiety during the holidays at times and I have no idea why. It sneaks up on me, and I can't figure out if it's from grief over the loss of a loved one a few years back, if it's the stress of a new relationship or if it's financial stress. Do you have insights on what this could be? 

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Dr. Bradley Nelson
Holistic Physician

Author and international lecturer in bio-energetic medicine and energy psychology, Dr. Brad has successfully used The Emotion Code with thousands of patients around the globe to relieve symptoms and often effect cures in conditions ranging from depression to cancer. His best-selling book, The [...]

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