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Keeping Stress at Bay During the Holidays

Keeping Stress at Bay During the Holidays

Managing Holiday Stress

For many of us, the holiday season means feelings of togetherness, cheer—and increased stress levels. While the feelings can be overwhelming already, they can increase your risk for health complications. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can manage your distressing emotions to focus on the reason for the season.

How Stress Affects the Body

While it is normal to experience stress every now and then, experiencing a sudden spike in your stress levels can be detrimental to your health. According to the American Psychological Association, prolonged exposure to stress hormones can lead to an increased risk for the following health conditions:

  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Digestive issues
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Acid Reflux
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fertility issues

Tips for Keeping Distressing Emotions Under Control

During the holiday season, with plenty of food and alcohol-centric traditions, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits to cope with your distressing emotions. This makes it especially important for you to have a few go-to relaxation techniques to utilize when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed this time of year.

Take a Walk

Many of us have heard that exercising is an excellent way to deal with stress and other negative emotions, but oftentimes this coping technique can seem a bit daunting. Fortunately, walking is an excellent low-impact exercise that can help you feel more at ease. Whether you decide to take a walk around your neighborhood or your favorite hiking trail, taking a walk can make you feel more relaxed and present.

Take a Hot Shower or Bath

While taking a warm bath or shower is an excellent way to start your day, it can also help you feel better. The heat from the water can help relieve any excess muscle tension that you have due to your increased stress levels. This “me” time also allows you to be alone, relax, and quiet your thoughts.

Share a Laugh with Loved Ones

We’ve all that laughter is the best medicine—and there’s some truth to that! Laughter helps to release muscle tension, releases endorphins, and increases your brain’s production of serotonin. So the next time you’re feeling the holiday blues, get giggly with someone you love.