Reducing Holiday Stress

Reducing Holiday Stress

Does this scenario sound familiar? Everything is fine until someone makes a comment about this year’s version of grandma’s famous chocolate cake…then boom! Feelings get hurt. You might yell. Tears inevitably roll. We’ve all been there, and the culprit is usually a result of unmanaged stress.

When left unmanaged, stress can lead to chronic health issues like inflammation; gut issues, obesity, and put us at risk for heart attack, stroke, and some cancers.

Holiday time can be a big trigger for many of us, and while we can’t control all the stressors, we can control how we react to them. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track this holiday:

Take Care of Yourself

This is one of the most important times of the year to make YOU a priority. Set yourself up for a successful and enjoyable holiday, especially if you are hosting people in your home, by sticking to your self-care routine. You may need to adjust the timing of your morning and evening routines, your exercise program and meditation practice but it will be worth it.

Eat

It is easy to get caught up in holiday hosting and preparations and forget to feed our self. This is a BIG trigger for stress and general havoc on our body. Low blood sugar, body tension, and massive brain fog are just a few of the symptoms that can emerge when you’re hungry. Meal prepping and eating at your regular times, and researching menus before you dine out will help you curb cravings and stay on track with you weight and other health goals.

Set Boundaries

Before the holiday begins determine what your gifts, travel, and events budgets are. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, you could easily commit to a holiday party every night, and with parties come a vast array of people, personalities, food, and gift expectations. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to negative self-talk, unconscious eating or overdrinking. Acknowledge what triggers these stressors and set boundaries. Save your mind body and soul the emotional roller coaster!

Sleep

Deep sleep is vital for our bodies to detox and repair itself. Skimping on sleep is a guarantee to fall into the clutches of stress. If you tend to stay out late, or have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try developing an evening routine. At least one hour before bed, turn off all electronics, drink a cup of tea, read, get comfy and actively prepare to rest your body.

Water

Staying hydrated is critical every day but during the holidays we tend to ignore our water intake and in return we suffer. Dehydration symptoms include headaches, fatigue, mood issues and hunger.

By getting into the practice of tuning in and taking care of yourself you’ll find that stress-inducing situations may be a little easier to handle. We can’t make all the stress in our lives disappear but we can choose how we react to it.



- Dr. Grey Rappe, DC's office
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