Stress Free Holiday 2013
TIPS FOR A STRESS FREE HOLIDAY
FROM REGIS UNIVERSITY
· Burn off steam, by increasing physical activity: Aerobic exercises of at least 30 minutes all or most days a week is recommended by the American Heart Association.
· Get some shut-eye: Adequate rest is required for many of the body’s daily functions, including lowering stress and blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic recommends 7-8 hours of sleep for adults.
· Avoid holiday OVER indulgence: Try enjoying the holidays with balanced meals. Frequent snacks or meals too high in sugar and preservatives can spike insulin. This causes sugar highs and lows, which can cause mood swings and feelings of lethargy and stress.
· Know the difference between stress and depression: Seek assistance from your doctor if you experience signs or symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks.
· Limit caffeine intake: Caffeine can quickly raise stress hormones and the “fight or flight” response.
· Limit alcohol intake: The holidays bring with them added tension, but alcohol should never be used as a coping mechanism. Keeping alcohol intake moderate and responsible is also good for your health.
· Laugh it up: Studies show a direct correlation between smiling and a better mood. Those who laughed and had a less serious outlook on life also reported lower cortisol levels.
· Forgive thy neighbor: Research suggests that people experience more psychological stress and higher heart rates when they hold grudges than when they grant forgiveness. This could also be a good time to reconnect with family and friends.
· Nothing is perfect: Do not worry if the holidays do not turn out according to plan. Holiday expectations are high leading to higher stress. Live in the moment and enjoy what is at hand.
· Focus on you: Take time for yourself to relax, meditate, pray, read a book, do yoga, or reflect. Focus on the positive aspects of life and be grateful.
- Adapted from Regis University 11/20/13 “Tips for Stress Management”