It’s mid-November, and the holiday stress is getting real. Whether you are gearing up for a long holiday trek across the country or preparing your house for guests, we know your stress levels are rising. We understand! Do you know what you need to do right now? Take a moment to relax, leave it all behind, and take a deep breath before starting again. This time though, we are here to help you by offering you a guide to staying happy and healthy this holiday season. Thankfully being chiropractors, we know a thing or two when it comes to relieving stress and tension within your body.
The power of the holiday season, no matter how stressful, can keep us happy and healthy if we remember to look inwards and recall all the good things in our lives that we should be celebrating, not just during the holidays but every day. During stressful times, we often focus on the source of anxiety and forget to take in the reason for the season.
ORGANIZE AND PRIORITIZE
This time of year, it isn’t only Santa’s list that is long. Our to-do lists for the holidays can be pages upon pages, even if just in our heads. However, studies show that writing things down, even if you never look at it again, can help relieve your stress. Does your list look too long? Take a hard look at it and prioritize what is essential and let the rest go. If there are things you can postpone, reschedule, or even decline, do so. Sometimes when everything is rushing past us, and we are lost in the sea of stress, it can be a good sign that we may have bitten off more than we can chew. Organize and prioritize this season so you can enjoy what matters most.
Carve out time allow your brain and body to rest. Schedule time for yourself and allow mini-breaks between activities. Even just simply getting up and stretching your lower back, neck, and shoulders can help relieve tension. Enjoy a nice bubbly bath or a warm shower, listen to music, take a walk, or cozy up with a good book.
Make yourself comfortable. Wear supportive cushion shoes to absorb the impact from all the walking, standing, and running around you may be doing. Wear comfy clothes and if you are going outdoors, wear layers! You don’t want to be shivering and tensing up in this cold.
It can be challenging to balance a regular exercise routine, even when it isn’t the holiday season. However, there is a positive connection between exercise and stress relief. Making an effort to move your body, even if just a little each day, can yield amazing benefits. If you’re traveling, take advantage of the hotel exercise facility or go on a short walk around the building. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can significantly improve your overall health and well-being. If exercise isn’t part of your routine, start small with stretches, weights, or a short walk. If you are already active, keep it up even during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
GET SOME SLEEP
You’ve heard it a million times, but sleep is crucial to your overall well-being. The holidays are hectic, and trying to balance everything can leave you burning the midnight oil and longing for a week of rest. Sleep deprivation is no friend, no matter the to-do lists. Prioritize getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Throw a nap in here or there if you have to, and if you are driving, take turns, if possible, to rest your eyes. Not only does lack of sleep create dark eyes, but it causes your mood to plummet, your appetite to increase, and will leave your body restless and achy.
ADDRESS THE STRESS
Don’t avoid stress by turning to unhealthy habits; instead, identify, accept the source, and allow yourself a moment to relax before approaching it again. Stress shows in our bodies. Headaches, jaw pain, neck, back, and shoulder stiffness are all signs of stress. Discomfort can put you into an even more stressful state, creating a cycle of anxiety and pain.
Don’t fall prey to unhealthy forms of stress management as it will only make you feel worse afterward. Take care of your body and your mental health.
Stress can cause many of us to grin-and-bear-it and hold everything on our shoulders. If you are feeling stressed, talk about it. Even if just casually in conversation, ask your friend if they got their apple pie, or be direct and ask how they are managing the stress this season. Odds are, they are just as stressed as you and would enjoy a moment to talk about it and know someone else can relate. Sometimes speaking about things out loud can help us to clear our minds.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out, and seek help.
Before you go out of town, visit us! Chiropractic care can help relieve many of these painful issues. Following these tips and coming into our office during the season will help keep your body resilient to the stress so you can enjoy the holidays. Let Joint & Spine Rehabilitation help free you from dysfunction and tension this holiday season.