Holiday Stress: 8 Ways to Cope With Stress During the Holidays

Holiday Stress: 8 Ways to Cope With Stress During the Holidays

Did you know that 88% of Americans consider the holiday season the most stressful time of year? This time of year is filled with activities, from holiday parties to family events. While the Christmas season is meant to bring feelings of cheer and love, it can bring about feelings of holiday stress for many people. 

If you need help managing holiday stress, you’re not alone. Family reunions can bring about conflict, and shopping excursions can cause great anxiety. 

This guide includes our top eight-holiday stress tips to help you cope with Christmas season holiday stress. 

1. Set Holiday Intentions 

Make the conscious decision to enjoy this time as much as you can. By doing so, you’re opening yourself up to true happiness and overall improved well-being. You’re less likely to miss uplifting moments, and you even might notice them more than if you hadn’t set that intention. 

When you set an intention, you prep your brain for positive things to happen. When you allow yourself to feel positive emotions, you can become more receptive, sensitive, and open to future experiences. You’ll start to soak up more positive experiences and feelings as a result. 

2. Honor Your Emotions 

While we all want to have positive thinking all of the time, it’s not always realistic or practical. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotion you’re feeling in the moment, whether it’s loneliness or sadness. 

Try to anticipate moments where you might be feeling down. These types of moments can happen, especially if you’ve recently lost someone or are away from your family. 

One way to practice self-care during the holidays is by journaling your feelings. You can use this time to connect and express your emotions in a healthy manner. 

If you start to feel down, don’t wait to do something about it. Make an appointment with your therapist or schedule time with a loved one to talk on the phone. 

3. Regain Focus By Taking a Break 

Holiday to-do lists can get very long. To practice stress-free holiday shopping, make sure you take a break. Some things you can do during your breaks include:

Let yourself relax by pivoting out of the mode of constantly doing something. It can be difficult to completely disengage from the busyness of the season. However, it’s well worth it to take the time to slow down and get focused. 

4. Live in the Moment 

Let your body register all of the moments when you feel good. One way to do that is to savor the sensation for 15-30 seconds. 

Savoring positive experiences will strengthen your body’s response to them. The longer you hold onto moments where you feel good, the more the memory will become embedded in the brain. 

The important thing to keep in mind is don’t let these good moments be fleeting. Enjoy them and keep them close to your heart during the holiday season. 

5. Be Generous 

Participating in an altruistic act is a great way to stimulate the “pleasure” part of your brain. If you feel like you want to be generous, you should act on that feeling. You’ll start to notice your mind and body expanding as you are generous to other people. 

Monitor how good you feel when you do something for another person without expecting something in return. A generous act doesn’t necessarily have to center around donating money. Some other examples include:

  • Giving a friend your full attention
  • Opening the door for someone 
  • Calling a family member, you haven’t spoken to in a while

Let yourself feel all the feelings that come with generosity. Know that what you’re doing is contributing to the overall well-being of another person. 

6. Practice Gratitude 

Reflect on each of your life’s blessings every day. Be fortunate for everything you have. Directly express feelings of appreciation to loved ones. 

A great way to practice gratitude is to write down something you feel grateful for every day. Try to do at least three things, but taking the time to think of one will make a difference. By expressing gratitude to your loved ones, you’ll feel closer to them. 

7. Create a Holiday Sanctuary 

The atmosphere of your home and workspace is the primary foundation for your overall well-being. It also represents how we feel both inside and out. 

Infuse as many holiday vibes as you can into your environment. Purchase an essential oil diffuser and utilize different holiday scents. Some popular ones include:

  • Spruce
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom

Lighting also plays a huge factor in creating a cozy atmosphere. Candles not only give off muted lighting but Christmas scents as well. 

One idea is to purchase a few pillar candles. Use them to create a “fireplace” in a small area of your home. Decorate them with different items that give you feelings of cheer. 

8. Have Fun 

Do you remember how exciting the holiday season was when you were a child? Allow yourself to feel those sensations again. Be around children in your family so you can partake in their feelings of joy. 

Look for events in your community, like tree lighting ceremonies or parades. You can soak up the feelings of joy from those around you as you enjoy holiday activities. 

While the holidays can be stressful for most people, don’t dwell on those feelings. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, but be ready to move on to feelings of joy. 

Use Our Tips to Effectively Manage Holiday Stress

Sometimes holiday stress can happen, even if you prepare for it. Follow our eight tips for managing it so you can enjoy the holiday season to its full potential. 

Explore our activities to learn ways to incorporate our healthy products into your lifestyle. 

7 Stress Management Tips for Busy Parents

7 Stress Management Tips for Busy Parents

Out of more than 17,000 parents surveyed around the world, American moms and dads feel more levels of burnout than those in other countries. When you’re not feeling like the best version of yourself, that can make you feel like you’re not the best version of yourself as a parent, leading to even more stress.

You owe it to yourself and your children to prioritize your mental health and learn how to manage stress so you can feel your best. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to get started with stress management, we’re here to help. 

Keep reading to learn 7 helpful stress management tips that you can start implementing today and in the coming year. 

1. Rediscover Past Joys

When you become a parent, it’s easy to feel like taking care of your kids is your whole identity. Of course, over time, this can leave you feeling like you don’t even know yourself anymore. Try rediscovering some of the things you used to love before becoming a parent to reconnect with your former self. 

For example, if you used to play baseball, look for a local league to join so you can play once a week. Or, if you used to read a book every week, try committing to reading just 5-10 pages each night. When you rediscover things you used to love, you might find your stress levels go down. 

2. Prioritize Your Health

Did you know that 77% of people who experience stress say that it’s so bad it affects their physical health? Busy parents often don’t feel like they have the time to focus on their own wellness, but prioritizing your health is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your kids. 

Try to incorporate some movement every day, whether it’s going for a walk or practicing a few yoga poses. You can even get the kids involved to help them learn healthy habits from a young age.

Remember that small changes can lead to big results. You don’t have to run 3 miles a day to focus on your health. Just do what you can when you can, and it’s better than nothing.

3. Ask For Help

As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. If your stress levels are soaring, reach out to your village for help. You might ask your partner to stay home with the kids while you go out with friends or get a babysitter so you can go on a long-overdue date night.

The people who care about you will step up when you need them, just like you would do for them. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, your stress levels could lead to burnout syndrome, affecting all aspects of your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late. 

4. Do Something Fun and Different

Oftentimes, getting into a dull routine takes a toll on our mental health and stress levels. Try to break out of the same old monotony by doing something different, even just for an afternoon. Visit that museum you’ve always wanted to explore or check out a restaurant that’s new in town instead of going to your old standby. 

You can even get the kids involved and plan a family staycation for a day in a local hotel. A change of scenery can do wonders for your stress, helping you “reset” before getting back to your normal routine.

5. Make Time for Yourself Every Day

Busy adults often feel like they always need to be “on” for their kids. However, without some time to yourself, that’s not sustainable. Of course, it’s not always possible to get a babysitter if you need time away, but there are small things you can do for yourself each day to recharge. 

For example, you might leave for work a few minutes early so you can sit in the car and take a moment to clear your head before diving into your day. If you stay home with your kids all day, create a set “quiet time” for a bit, where they can play independently while you take a moment for yourself.

Even if your alone time is only 5 minutes, take that time for yourself instead of using it to do chores or errands, so you feel like you have a break. 

6. Connect With Other Parents

No one knows the stress of parenting better than other parents, so make time to connect with your fellow moms and dads. You can exchange parenting advice or talk while your kids play, giving you the much-needed adult interaction that you crave. 

Parenting can sometimes feel isolating, so it helps to remember that you’re not alone in feeling stressed and that other parents are going through it too. 

7. Don’t Overschedule Your Calendar

Is an overbooked calendar part of the reason for your stress? If you find that you’re always saying “yes” to activities, outings, and other commitments, it may be time to take a step back and figure out what you can say “no” to instead. 

While some commitments are unavoidable, your stress levels will always be high if your plate is too full. Maybe the next time sports season rolls around, you enroll your kids in one activity instead of multiple to help scale back your commitments. 

When you have less on your calendar, you’ll have more time for the things that truly bring you joy. 

Follow These Stress Management Tips for Parents

After reading these stress management tips, we hope that you have the knowledge you need to feel like the best version of yourself. Remember, to your kids, you’re a literal superhero. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to follow these tips to lower your stress. Trust us, your kids will thank you for it!

Looking for more advice? Check out our post on school stress to help your kids manage stress as well.  

How to Manage Stress in College

How to Manage Stress in College

Stress is affecting teens more than ever before. Around 30% of teens admitted to feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 42% said they’re not doing enough when it comes to managing stress levels. If you’re in college, you’re not only juggling school work, but you might also be working part-time and trying to make important choices about your future. 

So what can you do to navigate these pivotal years?

You’ve come to the right place for help. Keep reading to learn tips on how to manage stress in college so you can focus on your work, graduate on time, and fully enjoy all that the college experience has to offer.  

Get More Sleep

Sure, college is a time for forming meaningful, lifelong friendships and staying out late, but sleep should also be a priority. That’s because sleep and stress go hand in hand. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to be stressed. And, the more stressed you are, the harder it will be to get enough sleep.

While you don’t have to turn down every party invitation by any means, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night for the best results. If you struggle to get enough sleep, try setting a sleep schedule for yourself by aiming to go to bed at the same time each night. 

As you wind down, limit your screen time, as blue light can make it harder to fall asleep. You might also find that taking melatonin, a supplement of a hormone your body makes can help you get more restful sleep as well. Avoid taking sleeping pills, which can become habit-forming.

Prioritize Exercise

If you played sports growing up, you were probably active without even realizing it. Now that you’re in college, unless you’re an athlete, you may not be moving as much as you were used to. 

Exercising is a great outlet for stress, as it can help improve your overall mood and help you feel like the best version of yourself. Try to find a form of exercise that you enjoy that fits around your busy schedule, like running or yoga. 

If you struggle to find the time to exercise, remember that a little goes a long way. Even just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you move a bit more to aid in stress relief. 

Eat a Healthy Diet

It’s natural to indulge in delicious foods when you first get to college, but over time, eating only pizza and ice cream will only leave you feeling groggy and tired. Instead, make sure you get a balanced diet of whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables, with the occasional indulgence. 

Since dealing with stress can impact your immune system, make sure you eat immune-boosting foods like citrus, blueberries, and broccoli to help you feel your best and reduce the risk of illness. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

College is an exciting time and you never want to feel like you’re missing out on experiences. However, if you’re not careful, you can have a full social calendar on top of your school work and job commitments. Over time, this can lead to high stress levels and burnout. 

Instead, be thoughtful about what you want to do and prioritize that over everything else. Instead of going to every social gathering, take time to make connections with the friends you care the most about. 

However, this doesn’t just apply to social activities. It’s ok to say no to other things too. Don’t feel pressured to take that extra course if you think it might make your work suffer in other classes. And don’t feel like you need to join every single study group. Do what you can and say no to the rest. 

Practice Mindfulness Through Meditation and Breathwork

One of the best stress management tips you can do is making time to be mindful each day. Take the time to meditate, even for just 5 to 10 minutes each day to help clear your mind and let the stress melt away. 

If you’re not sure how to begin meditating, look for online videos that guide you through a mindfulness session. There are also apps available that can help you combat specific aspects of stress through guided sessions. 

You can also try breathing exercises to help you stay calm when you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Sometimes doing nothing else but focusing on your breath is just what you need to refocus. By incorporating this into your daily routine, even just for a few minutes each night before you go to sleep, you’ll start to notice a difference. 


Between taking online classes, working on school work, and connecting with friends, increased screentime is an inevitability for college students. That’s why it’s so important to take time to unplug occasionally. 

Reducing screentime can help you feel less stressed, so be mindful about how much time you’re spending on your phone, tablet, or computer. Most phones have a feature that tells you how much time you spend using them, and some have options where you can limit how much time you spend on certain apps. 

Remember that everything online will still be there when you come back, so there’s no need to spend every minute glued to a screen. 

Now You Know How to Manage Stress in College

After reading through these tips, we hope you have a better idea of how to manage stress in college so you can stay focused. As you start to feel the tension building in your shoulders, take a step back, remember these ideas, and take the time to practice stress management. Your body and your mind deserve it!

Learn even more about why it’s important to prioritize your physical and mental health by checking out this post

7 Ways to Reduce Work Stress

7 Ways to Reduce Work Stress

Did you know 80% of people report that they feel stress from work at least sometimes? Some reports have indicated that 60% of people that call in sick are just suffering from work stress.
Managing stress is an important skill to learn because stress from work is a growing trend. Many jobs require their employees to work long hours. Staff doing the jobs of multiple people.

If you are nodding as you read this, you are likely to experience work stress, too. Keep reading to learn some tools for stress management.

Focus on Work Wellness to Minimize Work Stress
There are many small things that you can do to keep work stress to a minimum. You can reduce anxiety levels, too.

Not all workplaces allow for these things. If your office has rules that make it difficult for you to make it less stressful, consider putting together a proposal to allow employees to create a less stressful environment.

If your managers see that reducing stress at work is to their benefit, they may reconsider rules that prevent stress management techniques.

Stay hydrated to keep your brain active and increase the chances of managing stress better. When you are properly hydrated, you can handle problems better. Bring a water bottle and keep it on your desk

If there are not plants in the office, ask your employers if you can bring some in. Green plants improve the quality of the air. They also have a calming effect.

Minimize artificial light. Maximize natural light. Encourage everyone to open the blinds and let the sunshine in.

Work Friends Decrease Stress from Work
Work is less stressful when you get along with the people you work with. They don’t have to be your best friends. You just need to get along.

Team building exercises can encourage friendship and laughter. You can also organize activities outside of work like bowling, picnics, and group dinners.

If your work doesn’t have these activities already, be patient. Find a few people to get on board with reducing stress on the job. As others hear about the fun you are having, they will join in.
Other things you can do to help people create work friendships include having a mentorship program. You can also discourage the smartphone lunchroom by putting down your phone and starting conversations.

Live a Healthier Life to Manage Work Stress
When you are stressed, you may turn to high-fat, high-sugar snacks for comfort. These foods don’t help.

When you eat junk food, you feel tired and lethargic. Your brain feels like mush. That makes it difficult to focus and the stress increases.

A diet high in sugar can also lead to weight gain and high blood sugar. When you’re stressed, your insulin levels fall, increasing your cortisol levels which makes you crave junk food.

Lower insulin levels mean your blood sugar increase and your stress levels rise creating a cycle. Stress and blood sugar levels are correlated. Each one increases the other.

Plan for snacks. High fiber food like fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates can fill the need to eat. They also give you energy and help your brain work better.

Managing work stress through health choices is not only about what you put in your mouth. It’s also about what you do. Exercise is a great tool to minimize stress from work.

Life can be hectic though and it can be difficult to get to a gym or go for a run. You can exercise while you’re at work though.

Start a walking group during the lunch hour. Use coffee breaks to do some stretches at your desk. Have walking meetings where everyone walks and talks.

Organize for Better Stress Management
One of the biggest causes of work stress is too much work or too many types of work. If you don’t know what to do first because it is all important, you will feel more stressed.
To minimize stress because of workloads, you need to be organized. If you prioritize your work tasks, your objectives for the day will feel more clear.
Put tasks that get you closer to your end goals first. These are your priorities. Chose up to three tasks to prioritize each day.

Set deadlines to reduce work stress. When you know you need to complete a task by a certain time, you can focus on the most important tasks first.

Having a plan is a good tool for reducing stress. Find a planner system that works for you and utilize it each day.

Take Breaks, Lunches, and Vacations
If you are working through your breaks and lunches, stress is going to follow. Your brain needs time to relax. You need to be able to unwind during the day.
Take your breaks and your lunch hours. If you can, leave the office. Meet a friend for lunch.

If you can’t leave the building, utilize those work friendships you have been building. Take time to talk about something other than work.

Vacation time is your right. Employers will sometimes discourage you from taking it because it’s a busy time of the year or it’s just not the right time. Vacation time is your right though, so take it when you can.

Vacations don’t need to mean an expensive international trip. A relaxing vacation could just be spending time with family and loved ones. The key is to not think about work!

Be Proactive in Managing Stress
If you let it, work stress can take over your life. It can affect your family life, your physical health, and your mental health.

To minimize work stress, you need to take an active role in creating a healthier lifestyle.
Want to learn more about how you can maximize your health and minimize work stress? Learn more about us here.

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The right information and products can reduce stress and improve our pets’ quality of life. To discover the kinds of research and other information that may provide a healthier and longer life, just contact us today!

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Right Now

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Right Now

recent survey of Americans found that 71% of us rate our overall health and wellness as good (54%) or excellent (17%). The signs are that Americans are doing the main things well, like getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. However, it is also true that more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese.

So, while there is some contradiction in the state of America in terms of health and well-being, making beneficial changes to your lifestyle is easier than we think. Implementing healthy habits in our daily lifestyles can have wide-ranging benefits for our overall health.

In this blog post, we will look at seven healthy habits that you can start right now. As you will see, one of these to increase your daily intake of high-quality dairy ingredients, which is easy thanks to Ingredia.

1. Wake Up Early

People who wake up early are the envy of us all! Though it can be difficult to wake up early, after a few weeks you will have established a very beneficial habit. Waking up earlier gives you more time to plan and organize your day, as well as having more time to eat a healthy breakfast, exercise, and practice yoga.

A more regular sleeping routine, where your body knows that it will awaken at the same time each day, can lead to better overall sleep. Waking up feeling energized is a wonderful start to the day.

2. Increase Your Water Consumption

If there is one easy habit that we can all start doing right now, it’s drinking more water. Drinking more water helps to aid digestion, normalize blood pressure, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, flush bacteria from our bladders, and so much more.

Given that 60% of our bodies are water, it makes sense to regularly replenish the fluids in our bodies. Two liters should be the minimum amount of water we all consume daily.

3. Consume Plenty of Dairy Products

Research shows us that a worrying percentage of Americans do not consume enough dairy foods. A staggering 88% of us do not get the required amount of dairy in our everyday diet.

Dairy products are essential to our health and well-being, especially when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones and muscles. Dairy products like milk produce high amounts of essential nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium.

At Ingredia, we create higher-quality dairy ingredients through cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions. That way, you will reap more of the benefits of consuming milk and other dairy products in an ethical and sustainable way.

4. Make Exercise a Daily Habit

In these modern times, we are increasingly living more sedentary lifestyles where exercise is often overlooked. However, the health benefits of regular physical activity are many. Exercising can reduce our risk of heart attacks, help to manage our weight, lower our blood cholesterol level, lower the risk of developing osteoporosis, and much more.

It’s worth pointing out that you don’t have to train like a professional athlete to be healthy, either. As little as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day can have huge health benefits. Going for a brisk walk at lunchtime, for example, is a great means of getting in some exercise each day.

5. Spend Time Away From Screens

This is another point tied to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. We spend much of our day looking at screens, be they TVs, computers, or mobile phones. Too much screen time each day can affect our sleep, result in obesity, depression, anxiety, and lead to neck and back problems.

Try and limit your use of screens when you don’t absolutely need them, like in the evenings after work. Read a book or spend time outside in nature and reap the benefits instead.

6. Swap Junk Food for Fruits and Nuts

Snaking on unhealthy foods is something that many of us do without even realizing. We may be working at our desk or watching TV on the couch and our hands will automatically go for a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate.

Instead, stock up your kitchen with healthier snacks like fruits (apples and strawberries are great options) and nuts (almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts to name just three). You’ll still be able to snack but you’ll be doing your body a favor with these healthy eating habits.

7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Let’s tie this whole list together with getting a good night’s sleep. Adults are advised to sleep between seven and nine hours, while teenagers and children need even more.

There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep. These include keeping your immune system strong, improving attention and concentration, looking after your emotional well-being, reducing stress, and keeping your heart healthy. So, do yourself a favor and make time to rest!

Make a Goal of Implementing These Important Healthy Habits

As you can see, there are myriad ways of improving your overall health by implementing healthy habits. From getting enough sleep to eating more dairy products and exercising daily, you can make important changes that your body will thank you for.

The best strategy is to start by implementing small changes in your daily routine, rather than trying to do much at once. Over time, you can gradually improve the number of healthy living habits you do each day.

Since 2009, Ingredia has been creating higher-quality dairy ingredients in the US. Our clinically-approved dairy ingredients provide all kinds of health and lifestyle benefits. With our products, you can boost immunity and digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote muscle and bone health.

Check out our activities here to discover the health benefits of dairy and learn more about why Ingredia is your partner in health.