• Holiday Stress Tips

    by Dr. Susan Sklar
    on Oct 24th, 2014

The holidays represent a joyous change from our usual lives. However, the holidays can also present special challenges for us.

While trying to do the usual parts of our lives, we now are also taking on more socializing, spending, and eating at this time of year.

So, how do we get through it with enjoyment and grace?

1)  DON’T BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS Turn off the TV, computer, smart phone, video games by 10 pm. You need your sleep and the best time is 9 pm to 9 am. Sleep is when you make human growth hormone—your renewal and healing hormone.

2)  TAKE A TIME OUT: Try this simple exercise: sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take deep breaths through your nose to a slow count of five. Allow your abdomen to expand as you fully fill your lungs. Exhale the breath through your mouth to a slow count of five. Do this 15 times. You will feel rejuvenated and it takes less than five minutes.

3)  MIND YOUR DIET: The Holiday season provides us with an excuse to eat out of control. Help yourself stay in control by eating small, protein-based (fish, chicken, turkey) meals every 3-4 hours. Your blood sugar levels will stay more level resulting in less carbohydrate and sweet cravings. Have a small protein snack before going to a party. You will be less likely to gorge on sweets and carbs. Also, your mood and energy will improve.

4)  LEARN TO SET LIMITS
Learning to say “no” is important to preserving your health and well-being. Emotional demands affect your health by causing an imbalance of vital hormones. This can result in feeling fatigued and unhappy. Make a list of people who drain you of energy and leave you exhausted. Think of ways to set limits with them. First, reassure them of their importance in your life, but then let them know that you need to take better care of yourself and ask them for their understanding and help in doing it.

5)  TAKE TIME TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE
The holidays are a time for both reflection and renewal. Take some time to do both. While reviewing the past year, consider what you have done to benefit and optimize your health. Then take time to make plans for the coming year.

Author Dr. Susan Sklar

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