Managing Holiday Stress
The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family and they can also be very stressful. The holidays can also be hectic, full of shopping, family and celebrations complete with yummy calorie laden foods!
As a nutritional consultant I have helped people deal with holiday stress for years and I have come up with some strategies on how to de-stress your life, and stay healthy, emotionally and physically so you can have the best holiday season ever!
Avoid sugars, limit alcohol and caffeine. Eliminating sugars and processed foods that turn to sugar helps tremendously with weight loss and can decrease your stress response. As caffeine can further stimulate the central nervous system, thereby intensifying the stress response, it’s best to avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and colas. In addition, alcohol intake should be minimized, as it can increase appetite and decrease control over eating behavior. Check with your nutritional consultant for more ways towards eating well.
Research shows that exercise helps with stress and “vent” negative emotions, helps to boost our endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones, ultimately improving our mood. Exercise also decreases our appetite, helping us to consume fewer calories. Even when you are out of your regular exercise routine try to do something, even if means going for a 10-minute walk every day. You can even recruit family members to play outside or walk with you making it a super fun and connecting part of the day. Low Pressure Fitness is a terrific way to firm up your body without worrying about pelvic organ prolapse.
Yoga, meditation, deep breathing or even just petting your dog can help to take the edge off. Visualizing a peaceful place can be a soothing way to “escape” from reality, for just a few needed seconds.
15 Things You Can Do Instead of Stressing or Eating:
- Read a book—or your favorite fitness magazine
- Search for a Web site, on a topic that is of interest
- Go for a walk
- Call or email a friend
- Write in a journal
- Play a game with your spouse, children, or pets
- Do an exercise video, or hit the gym for aerobics, weightlifting, or yoga
- Tackle some household chores: dust, vacuum, balance the checkbook, etc.
- Take a long bath or shower
- Start your holiday gift list—both gifts to give, and gifts to receive
- Do some outside chores: work in the garden, mow the lawn, rake leaves, or shovel snow
- Meditate or pray
- Work on a craft project that will keep your hands busy: knitting, needlepoint, painting, woodworking, etc.
- Crank up your stereo and dance around the living room like no one is watching
- Brush your teeth, use a strong mouthwash, then pop in a piece of extra-minty gum