You’ve probably already started to experience holiday insanity. It seems to start around Thanksgiving. Traveling to see family, trying to buy all the right things, interacting with way too many humans and the pressure to make everyone happy! Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, our lives are filled with more than average stress. Unless you got all your shopping done on Black Friday (or on Small Business Saturday) you still have lots more shopping to do. If you have family out of state, you also have to pack and ship those items. There are office parties to attend, school holiday events and holiday parties with friends and family. More traffic, longer lines, shorter tempers, less sleep, even less patience and the noise, noise, noise, noise! It’s enough to turn you into a Grinch.
How The Grinch Stole Your Sex Drive
Studies have shown that stress can inhibit your libido, not only reducing your desire for sex, but your ability to enjoy it. Your body reacts to stress as a “fight or flight” response, a reaction to danger. This is to aid you in the short term, give you that extra surge of hormones and chemicals that historically helped you deal with crises such as a predator or an emergency. The hypothalamus, the adrenal cortex and the pituitary gland all have a part in the release of hormones in times of stress. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can be helpful to you in small doses. Adrenaline (or epinephrine) increases heart rate, blood pressure and metabolic rate. Cortisol suppresses low priority functions that make you less effective in times of crisis to save energy for things needed to survive. Cortisol will actually inhibit sex hormones. When stress becomes chronic stress, experienced over a long period of time, then the benefits of these hormones are lost. They start to affect you in negative ways, one of which is the loss of libido. The release of hormones just due to stress alone may not be the only culprit, though.
A White Elephant Gift Basket Of Stressors
You experience many negative factors during the holidays. You’re tired either from running yourself ragged with holiday obligations or just from lack of sleep. Your body image may be suffering at a time focused on indulging and being more focused on your looks with visits home, parties and other social events. There is so much pressure: to find the perfect gift, to bring the perfect date to the office party, to bring the perfect mate home to family. All this makes it the most depression-prone time of the year. Depression, like stress, lowers your sex drive and reduces your ability to enjoy it. Seasonal depression can even make the holidays even harder because of increased sadness, increased irritability or even an inability to express emotion at all. Combined with a lowered immune system, the holiday season is barely jolly, let alone sexy!
But it can be if you keep the following tips in mind:
Take Care Of Yourself First
Take some time out of the day to check in with yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes. Meditating can help too. Meditation can reduce stress levels and provide some relief from depression. If meditation isn’t your thing, just take time to do some conscious breathing, deep breaths in and out. Getting oxygen into your brain and body will help you feel more relaxed and even help you feel more focused. Poor diet can lower your sex drive too. There’s nothing wrong with indulging during the holidays but make sure you’ve got the building blocks your body and mind needs to stay healthy. Excessive drinking can be a mood killer, so drink in moderation. Try to sleep when you can, or even take naps if it makes you feel better. Moderate exercise can help too. Putting on something that makes you feel sexy like and empowering outfit or an alluring perfume can provide the passion boost you need. You can also take care of yourself in other ways with some stimulating alone time. Revving up those engines on your own can put you in a more giving mood.
The Tantalizing Power Of Touch
Running around can leave little time to connect with your partner. Take time to touch: holding hands, stroking a knee, a warm hug or a short backrub. Touch can help reduce anxiety and depression, lower your blood pressure, make you feel more connected and provide an impetus for more intimate bonding time. A gentle kiss on the cheek or a brush on the lips is better than nothing at all. All these sensual touches can jump-start a lagging libido just enough for you to reconnect. Try a soothing massage with some mood inspiring scents. No time? Just massage your partner’s hand or even rub those aching feet after a long day. Let small touches naturally lead to bigger ones or just leave it for another day. Touch should be freely given with no expectations.
The Brain Is The Biggest Sex Organ
Holiday distractions can take over our mind leaving us with little time for pleasurable thoughts. Find ways to stimulate your brain if your body has decided to put itself on lay away for the season. Use your downtime to read something relaxing or even erotic. Share stories, movies or a sexy song with each other. Send teasing texts but make sure you take into account the “no expectations” clause. If your partner finds your sexting too distracting during holiday errands, find something else that works. Send an email they can enjoy later or even, gasp, give them something handwritten! A heartfelt letter, a short seductive story or a titillating private note tucked into a wallet, pocket or purse can be a nice way to connect during the madness. There’s also much power in a reassuring look. In the midst of a hectic family dinner, an overwhelming work event or even waiting in long lines at the mall, make eye contact with your partner. From a fleeting moment to a long alluring gaze, eye contact can make you feel more connected, trigger your brain with warm bonding hormones and hopefully inspire you to do more gazing in a more intimate setting.
Just Do It
This is not just an old ad campaign. I’m suggesting that sometimes you need to well… just do it. Holiday time crunch can make long lingering foreplay seem like exhausting work rather than the enjoyable and rewarding effort it usually is. A consensual quickie could be just what you need to reconnect and re-energize! You can even put it on your “to-do” list and give yourself the goal to add it, and cross it off, at least once a week.
The Reason For The Season
We can get caught up with over-scheduling that plagues the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. We’ve given ourselves way too much to live up to, and then we try to out do ourselves the following year. Sexy time is the gift that keeps on giving. Sex reduces stress, builds up your immune system, helps you sleep better, improves self-esteem, can relieve pain and even help reduce depression. It’s a great antidote to all the negative effects of holiday stress. Why not give it a try?