7 Relaxation Techniques to Get You Through the Holidays

Practicing relaxation techniques eases stress

7 Relaxation Techniques to Get You Through the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching and while sold as the happiest time of year, the season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve ranks among the most stressful for many people. At Iron Mountain Hot Springs, helping guests relax is what we do best. Decompress with these tried-and-true tension-taming techniques.

Believe it not, stress is a normal, natural part of life. We deal with it every day—from sitting in traffic jams to worrying about a loved one’s health. The holiday hustle and bustle, however, can be overwhelming. An increased schedule of activities, extra meal preparation, out-of-town guests and financial concerns, can toss a wet blanket on the season of hope. The good news is stress is manageable, especially with easy techniques you can practice during the holidays or anytime.

Don’t Stress!

That advice is often easier said than done. However, the physical effects of stress are real. According to the Cleveland Clinic, common symptoms include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Chest pain and a racing heart
  • Exhaustion, fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Weakened immune responses
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability and panic attacks


Here’s how. According to a Harvard Medical School special health report on stress management, approaches for preventing and reducing stress call for invoking the body’s natural “relaxation response.” Each of these techniques has proven effective, tuck a few of them in your stress-relief arsenal to use through the holidays and beyond.

  1. Focusing on breathing is an easy relaxation techniqueBreath Focus. Simple and powerful, this technique can be practiced anywhere. Take long, slow, intentionally deep breaths. As you breathe, gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations.
  2. Body Scan. A blend of breath focus and progressive muscle relaxation. Practice breath focus for a few minutes, then scan your body from head to toe. As you focus on one body part at a time, mentally release any physical tension you feel. This technique strengthens the mind-body connection.
  3. Guided Imagery. Use free online apps or recordings to conjure soothing scenes, places or experiences that lead you to a state of relaxation. The use of guided imagery is also an effective method for building a positive self-image.
  4. Mindfulness. A focus on breathing and redirecting the mind’s attention to the present moment when it wanders helps to keep individuals centered on the now—the only place where change and growth are possible.
  5. Stretching. Stress can cause muscles to tighten and shorten. Sometimes all you need is a good stretch to work out the kinks. Practice yoga, tai chi, qigong—a form of mind-body exercise—or just stretch major body parts such as the neck, upper back and calves to regain a sense of wellness.
  6. Repetitive Prayer. Call it a mantra or a prayer, either way repeating a short phrase while practicing breath focus can be appealing to those for whom religion or spirituality is meaningful.
  7. Soaking at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. In Glenwood Springs, one of the best ways to relax is by soaking in the thermal pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The minerals and hot water are a therapeutic combination that aids in whole-body relaxation.

When you keep mental and physical stress in check, you’ll be poised for challenges—from snowstorms to Aunt Sadie—and whatever comes your way this holiday season. Read more about wellness topics on our blog and make plans to visit Iron Mountain Hot Springs today!

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.