For many of us it seems that the words “holidays” and “stress” go hand-in-hand. In fact, a recent research study by Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner reported the following percentage of those surveyed experienced negative impacts during the holidays:
- Fatigue 68%
- Stress 61%
- Irritability 52%
- Sadness 36%
- Anger 35%
- Loneliness 26%
From a seasonal standpoint, Winter is a time to rest more, recharge and conserve energy, and not overindulge with sweets, alcohol and heavy foods. Eggnog anyone? Well, the holidays bring all of those treats plus many other demands that don’t allow us to get to bed early or have good sleep. It’s great to connect with family and loved ones, but we must watch out for overindulgences. Maintain your cornerstones of health with a balanced diet, regular exercise, good sleep, or managing stress. And in Winter we can do more indoor and slower exercises like yoga and stretching.
Meditation and breathing are good ways to relax to reduce stress, as are:
- Setting limits on what you will commit to during the Holidays (events, shopping, food).
- Plan ahead and create some “down time.”
- Manage the Holiday Season—don’t let it manage YOU!
- Many nutrients and herbs have potential benefits for protecting our health and helping us avoid colds and flu. Some items that have worked for me include fresh garlic, Astragalus herb, Maitake mushroom, plus vitamins C and A.
For me, the bottom line is first to recognize that the holiday season can lead to stressful circumstances, and to anticipate these by being pro-active in reducing stress in your life, mind and body.
Here is wishing each and all of you a low-stress and Joy-filled holiday season, and as always…