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Feature Article: Healthy Holiday Stress Busters

Holidays will soon be upon us. The additional demands on our energies can leave many of us feeling that the holidays must be endured rather than enjoyed.

Our stress levels impact on our emotional and physical well-being, so it is important to manage stress. How? Here are some suggestions:

  • Put your stress on a schedule: We schedule everything else, why not schedule our stress too? Set aside a specific time every day and give yourself permission to worry during that period. Make a list of the troublesome things in your life and some possible solutions. When anxiety returns between �appointments�, remind yourself to set it aside for your next stress session.

  • Schedule quiet time for yourself: Read, listen to music, meditate, or take a warm bath or shower. Treat yourself well � you deserve it.

  • Practice deep breathing: Inhale slowly through your nose, deeply filling your lungs with air, and exhale slowly through your mouth; repeat this 5 to 10 times.

  • Use muscle relaxation techniques: Clench your fist (feel the strain in your hand and forearm), hold for about 7 seconds, then release and relax for about 30 seconds, then repeat. Do this about 3 times then move on to another muscle group. You can do this while sitting at your desk, watching television, waiting in your car at a stoplight � actually, almost anywhere.

  • Do some type of physical activity: It helps release emotional and physical tension, increases serotonin levels and helps counteract the effects of stress. This does not necessarily mean a trip to the fitness facility � just get the body moving; take a walk, romp with the kids or sweep the floor.

  • Maintain a nutritional eating plan: Good nutrition provides optimum energy to help you resist disease. In addition, regularly scheduled meals help bring an element of order to a chaotic season.

  • Laugh:This is a great stress buster; it relaxes your body, helps decrease your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. It also stimulates the release of endorphins (the brain�s natural painkillers).


Message of the Week

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."

- Vincent van Gogh

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