While ‘tis the season to be merry, for many of us, it’s also a season for stress, anxiety and depression, which leads us to behave in ways we may live to regret later. People often resort to bad habits—they may cave in to sugar cravings, go for the booze and overdose on caffeine.
During the holidays, people tend to experience heightened emotions. You may feel overcome by loneliness, become annoyed by meddling relatives or lose patience with your loved ones.
In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays, which puts their health at risk. The APA also learned that during this time, 41 percent of women use food and 30 percent use alcohol.
To help you have a happy season, here are 6 Tips to relieve holiday stress.
- Take calm-down breaks. Soon after you awake, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and meditate or just relax. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, think of a happy memory or visualize yourself succeeding at a cherished goal. Conscious, slow breathing can help you when you’re feeling frustrated waiting in line at the supermarket, post office or drug store. Talking 5-minute breaks throughout the day can give you just enough time to reset and get on with your day!
- Be Happy. When people try to push their bad habits on you during this holiday season, tune into their motivations. For instance, before you get annoyed at your cousin Ann, who keeps urging you to eat more, or your co-worker, who keeps trying to fill your glass with booze, first take a deep breath. Then, step into their shoes and realize that Ann is just showing that she loves you, and your coworker is trying to be friendly. Then graciously thank them for their attention. Rather than view your situation with annoyance, be grateful instead.
- Get moving. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays or any other time is to exercise regularly. Research shows that physical activity not boosts your fitness and energy levels but can also elevate your moods. In addition, exercise has been found to reduce anger, tension, fatigue and confusion. Despite the many demands on your time, this is not the season to stop exercising. When regular exercisers are inactive, they begin to feel depressed and fatigued after just one week,
- Go for real foods mostly.Inevitably, at this time of year, you’ll be tempted with sugary, empty-calorie snacks and treats just about wherever you go. To be your most energetic, focused and happy self, it’s best to eat foods that grow on trees or on the ground (vegetables and fruits) and to choose healthy fats (such as olive oil and flax seeds), lean protein (such as fish and organic chicken) and legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Take small polite portions of holiday food and drinks.During the holidays, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and use—or over-use—alcohol, sugar and caffeine. The best way to stay true to the best you is to limit your consumption of these comfort or pleasure foods and drinks.
- Be generous. One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to be generous with your loved ones, co-workers, and friends. This doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. You can be generous with your compliments. You can generously offer to do a loved ones dreaded errand. Be creative, people will appreciate your real, heartfelt sentiments. Keeping a positive outlook in all your interactions will make you feel better too!
At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health. If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520. We look forward to hearing from you.