7 Effective Steps for Managing Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress Management in Walnut CreekThe holidays can bring a lot of stress — high expectations, one too many parties, out-of town guests,…

Learning to manage stress is the first step to prevent overwhelm.

Try these seven steps to effectively manage holiday stress:


  1. Get a good night’s sleep.
    Your body repairs itself during while you are sleeping. Most people need seven to nine hours a night, especially if you have an unusually busy day.Also, if you’re more introverted, being around people constantly, whether it’s crowded shopping malls, or a holiday party, you’ll also need more rest and quiet time than usual.
  2. Keep up your exercise routine.
    It’s easy to skip your workouts when you have a busy week. However, exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently and gets more oxygen to the brain. It’ll increase your focus, which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.  It can also increase your stamina as you rush from the office to shopping to home to parties, etc.If  you do have a major time crunch, try a high-intensity 10-minute workout you can do at home. (We recommend these fitness reports from Transform FX Fitness.)
  3. Meditate.
    Meditation isn’t about chanting mantras. Meditation can be in the form of yoga.  Or you can take five minutes of deep breathing and clearing your mind.
  4. Manage the worry.
    When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake.
    You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension, but alcohol is actually a depressant. In can also be harder to face another busy day if you’re recovering from a long night.
  6. Enjoy relaxing activities.
    Stress, noise, people can rob you of your energy. Do something you enjoy that’s relaxing as well like painting, reading or listening to music.
  7. Pre-book your massage.
    Look forward to time just for you by scheduling your massage early.  Think about it as a reward for getting through a stressful holiday season!

It’s no wonder that a time that’s meant for giving and celebrations, we might forget to take care of ourselves first.  Prevent as much holiday stress as possible by taking these seven steps.


What’s your favorite way to prevent holiday stress?

20 Stress Busters


Get more of out your massage by managing your stress in between sessions. Here are 20 ideas for you to try:

1. Set aside time to talk to your family and friends about your concerns.

2. Practice focused relaxation. Sit comfortably, noticing where you feel discomfort. Breathe slowly into these areas.

3. Make a list of people and things you are grateful for.

4. Set boundaries at work and home.

Stress Management Walnut Creek CA5. Meditate. Take a class or try out a group.

6. Bike, jog, or just take a 10-minute walk.

7. Dance! Take a ballroom dance or just have some fun in your living room and crank up the music!

8. Massage your aching neck or back.

9. Stretch. Ask your massage therapist for some suggestions or review the stretching exercises in our blog.

10. Take a yoga or tai chi class.

11. Have a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea.

12. Practice deep, full body breathing if you can’t sleep.

13. If possible, take action to change situations that are troubling you.

14. Relieve yourself of responsibilities that don’t feel right any longer. Saying “no” does wonders!

15. Try new things, like a new , nutritious and tasty food.

16. Assign yourself a time to “fret” — then move on to your day-to-day activities.

17. If you feel that stress threatens to overwhelm you, seek a professional counselor.

18. Take a hot bath. Add several drops of essential oils like lavender or ylang-ylang for relaxation.

19. Try biofeedback.

20. Take a painting, writing or photography class.


What are you favorite ways to de-stress?


What is Prenatal Massage?

Walnut Creek Pregnancy MassageWho better deserves and needs a great massage than a mother-to-be?

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time in a woman’s life, on the physical level as well as on the emotional. Prenatal massage is beneficial for both the body and the mind by increasing the blood and lymph circulation, relaxing the body and easing the mind.

Prenatal massage relieves common pregnancy symptoms including muscle cramps, spasms and myofascial pain of the lower back, neck, shoulders, hips and legs, swelling of the extremities (arms, hands, legs and feet), sleep difficulties and the psychological turmoil (stress, anxiety, fear and restlessness).

Many independent studies have conclusively shown that the positively beneficial effects of massage therapy during pregnancy also benefit the growing child in the mother’s womb as well as resulting in an easier labor and in a less painful delivery.


What is the difference between Pregnancy Massage and any other massage?

Well, there are a number of very important differences which should not be overlooked. And due to those differences, therapists who perform massage therapy on pregnant women must be specially trained and certified accordingly, and they must always take those extra few precautionary measures:

  • Pregnancy Massage should not be performed until the first trimester of the pregnancy has been concluded because the increased blood circulation may lead to dizziness and a worsening of the existing morning sickness symptoms.


  • Positioning of the pregnant woman is detrimental to her safety and the safety of the child she is carrying. The pregnant woman should lie on her side and switch sides in midsession to make both her hips available for the massage treatment. A wide variety of pillows (body pillows and extra padding pillows) set in a few strategic places under the pregnant womans body can greatly add to her comfort.


  • Important safety measures: The pregnant woman must never lie directly on her belly and the flat, horizontal table with the hole for the belly must never be used as it inflicts too much stress on her lower back.

  • There are certain parts of the pregnant woman’s body that must never be massaged or pressed; both sides of the ankles as well as the webbing between the thumbs and the index fingers are pressure points that can induce early labor when exposed to sustained pressure.



For the great majority of the time, Pregnancy Massages are perfectly safe and much advised. However under certain very specific conditions Pregnancy Massages should not be attempted without consulting a medical specialist and those conditions may be: women who are at risk of preterm labor and women with blood clots or related blood clotting disorders.


Loosen Up Bodywork has two massage therapists specializing in prenatal massage. Call (925) 289-9750 to schedule your appointment or order a gift certificate or book a prenatal massage appointment online.

Massage – The Perfect Gift for Yourself

Massage is the perfect gift to give yourself for the holidays. Receiving a massage is a great strategy for holiday survival to lower your blood pressure and help you endure the jam-packed stores.

Hitting the ice skating rink? Enhance your athletic performance as you display your Olympian ice skating talent. Massage can also help treat your injury after that athletic performance.

Visitors staying over? Give yourself the gift of peace and quiet when you have all the relatives in your home.

Visiting others? Relieve overused muscles from holiday travel.

Partying it up? Increase your joint flexibility to demonstrate your macarena expertise at the company party.

Trying to not get sick? Stimulate your lymphatic system, the body’s natural defense against disease, to decrease the chances of getting sick during the holidays.

Stressed out? Massage can help you sleep extra peacefully.

SAD with Seasonal Affective Disorder? If you are feeling the holiday blues a massage may assist in alleviating depression.


For all of these reasons it may be the most thoughtful gift you can give a loved one as well. It is the gift that keeps on giving. This season, don’t overlook yourself, give to yourself, and let us give to you. Happy Holidays!


Lifestyle Recommendations


Stress is not necessarily a bad thing, and can actually be a stimulus for
positive change and growth. But excess stress can be detrimental. Here
are some tips that can help you reduce the effects of stress in your life.


1. Set boundaries at work and home. Remember one person can only
do so much. Choose to let some things go and give yourself wholeheartedly
to those you keep. Encourage yourself to say “no” when
you need to.


2. If possible, take action to change situations that are troubling you.
Know when to face up to the things that are causing you anxiety and
when to let things go. Ask for support if you need to.


3. Set aside time to talk to your family and friends about your concerns.
Let them know you are feeling anxious or pressured. Use “I” statements,
for example, “I feel stressed. I have deadlines at work and feel
I can’t keep up at home.” Your loved ones will appreciate the chance
to lend a hand as opposed to being blamed.


4. Honor a time and space for your own relaxation. Be willing to “stop
the world and get off” even it’s only for half an hour after work every
other day or a two-hour walk once a week. Make a commitment to
yourself that nothing encroaches on.


5. Try new things, like a new, nutritious and tasty food — or even a new
bodywork technique like Reiki or stone massage!


6. Assign yourself a time to “fret.” Then get on with your day-to-day
activities with enthusiasm.


7. Take a painting, writing or photography class. Check the newspaper,
colleges, community centers and bulletin boards to find one.


8. Take your breaks at work. Get outside for a walk or do simple
stretches for 10 minutes.


9. Laugh. Watch comedies and read humorous books. Get together with
people who know how to look at life on the light side.


10. Take a weekend, or just a morning, away from your obligations and
On your getaways, leave work and worries behind. If that’s
difficult, try writing down your worries or “to-do’s.” Then tuck the
list away, knowing you can get back to it after your time away.


11. Express your creativity. Write down your memories, grow flowers
and herbs, or knit a sweater.


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @