The holiday season seems to be one of the busiest times of the year. Although it is filled with lots of great things – like Christmas, time with family and friends, and fresh start to a new year, it can become a stressful time as well! Physical and psychological stress, as well as lack of sleep, can take a toll on you and make you more susceptible to injury and sickness. Here are four tips aimed to keep the holiday stress in check this year so you can focus on what’s important!
1. Plan ahead – cooking, shopping, etc. If it’s stressful for you to go to the mall on weekends when it’s crowded, try to stay organized and plan your schedule to go on a weekday. Do your Christmas grocery shopping before the week of Christmas. Little steps like these can help you feel prepared!
2. Don’t overdo it – don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself (hosting, decorating, overcommitting to Christmas parties, etc). If decorating brings you joy, that’s wonderful, but don’t feel pressured to partake in every part of the season. Remember what is important to you and celebrate that in your own way!
3. Exercise – try to move 20 minutes each day – maybe for you that means mall walking or doing some exercises or yoga at home. 20 minutes is only 1% of your day - try to make time for this and see how it relieves stress in the other 99% of your day, including improving your quality of sleep.
4. Take time to be reflect and be thankful – write down a few things every day that make you feel grateful. Sometimes a thankful mindset makes all the difference!
If you are dealing with a new injury or chronic pain, give us a call and see if we can help. Some injuries and conditions heal on their own, and some need expert guidance, hands on treatment, and a program you can follow. Let us know if we can help and have a blessed holiday season!
By: Lisa Pfotenhauer, ACSM Cert. Exercise Physiologist
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How stress affects your health. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress (2019)
Vuori I, Urponen H, Hasan J, Partinen M. Epidemiology of exercise effects on sleep. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. Supplementum. 1988 ;574:3-7.
Steve Bartz, PT