Reduce Stress this Holiday Season

By Kelly Tolle, D.C.

The holiday season is fast approaching. This means shopping, decorating, entertaining, giftwrapping, and extra gatherings. It also means stress! The added stress of the holidays can cause unwanted aggravation to our bodies that not only exacerbate pre-existing conditions, but also can create some new ones as well.

Stress negatively affects your health by causing the body to release specific stress hormones. These hormones cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. Long-term stress is known to help cause a variety of health problems including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, menstrual problems, acne, and other skin problems. Stress is also known to decrease immune function, making us more susceptible to viruses. No one wants to be sick over the holidays!

Here are some great ways to reduce your stress so you can fully enjoy the holiday season:

• Eat properly and drink plenty of water. Don’t use the holiday season as an excuse to overindulge, and it’s never good to allow yourself to get dehydrated. The body is made up of approximately 60 percent water. 

• Remember your nutritional supplements! Vitamin C stimulates the production and healthy function of white blood cells. Vitamin A is required for immune cell activation and survival. Vitamins A, C, and E help modulate brain/adrenal gland interaction and related stress responses. Copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and bioflavonoids are important as antioxidants to help neutralize damaging free radicals that form during stress

• Keep your regular exercise routine. Exercise not only alleviates stress reduction, it will also keep you from gaining too much weight from the extra holiday treats.

• Take a break every day. Whether it be reading a book, taking a nap, or meditating, a mere 20 minutes a day can make all the difference.

• Make sure you get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. Your body repairs itself during this important time.

• Get a massage! This is a great way to relax and take that well-deserved break.

• Practice proper breathing technique. Breathing is great for reducing stress and anxiety. Simply breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate your thoughts on these actions to gain the full benefit.

• Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. Stores, streets, and airports are all extra busy this time of year. Don’t get caught in the last-minute mayhem!

• Remember the reason for the season. You cannot enjoy friends and family if you are anxious and preoccupied.

• See your chiropractor for a healthy spine and to improve nerve function. The chiropractic adjustment helps to relieve stress, decrease pain, improve function, and increase energy.

Take care of yourself this holiday season, your body will thank you for it.

Kelly Tolle is a Doctor of Chiropractic and mother of three small children. Owner of Family Chiropractic of Heathrow, she is dedicated to improving her patients’ quality of life through chiropractic, nutrition, and massage therapy at the Colonial TownPark location. Visit  www.FamilyChiropracticofHeathrow.com for more information.