Reducing Holiday Stress – by Greg Schweitzer

Reducing Holiday Stress – by Greg Schweitzer

Reducing Holiday Stress

The holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and some sadness. For example, I have a great life, and I miss my deceased parents. They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. For me, the season accentuates their absence.

Many share bittersweet experiences at the holidays.  Perhaps your family is still intact, but your relationship with them is less that you would like.  At the holidays, we often remember the better times and regret the situation as it is today.  For others, holidays remind us of economic uncertainties.  Job security and unemployment are issues that haunt many.  For those trying to lose weight or battling an addiction, the holidays can present an especially challenging time.  For others, the winter climate in the Northeast can throw us off center.  As the daylight hours shorten, seasonal affective disorder brings on moods of sadness even depression.

Here are a few ideas to lighten our experiences at this time of year. 

  • First, take stock of the situation. What is in your control and what is not?  If you get depressed in the cold cloudy days of winter, you can’t change the weather however you could buy a “light box.”  Light therapy can help.
  • If you’re concerned about your weight or addictions ramping up over the holidays, find a support group or friend with whom you can discuss your concerns.  Enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make tasty healthy treats vs. high calorie low nutrient fare.
  • As for the family, having realistic expectations of their behavior always helps to keep us grounded during reunions.
  • Most importantly, practice self care.  If possible, spend time outdoors in nature – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and spend time with people who bring joy to your life.
  • Laughter is great medicine anytime of the year. And take a few conscious breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Finally, there is nothing more important for our health than regular periods of rest.  Do not short change sleep in order to do more. If you feel tempted to answer some email or watch another TV program at night when you’re exhausted, ask yourself, “how important is it?”  Get some rest, go to bed.  You’ll wake up with more energy and be happier because you listened to your body and gave it rest.

How You Can Live A Healthy Lifestyle

We are asked constantly “How can I live a healthy lifestyle?”

It’s about choosing new, healthy habits in your daily routine. I know, easier said than done.  Don’t be hard on yourself.  Start with taking small steps to change patterns. Most importantly, if you fall off track, which we all do once in awhile, just get back into it.

With the daily stresses most of us find ourselves dealing with, fast foods on every corner, the constantly pushing of fattening and tempting comfort foods, it’s no wonder we’re gaining so much weight and having health issues.

“How can I mentally and physically get on the right track?”

  1. Understand how you can benefit from a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Breaking bad habits can lead you to a better quality of life.
  3. Making healthy changes will reduce the risks of many health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  4. Get up and move!

Reasons why people find it hard to live a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Stress:  How many times have you heard “stress eater”?  Well it exists. Most people gain weight and don’t exercise due to the stresses in their life. Some great stress reducers: Yoga and Meditation
  2. Too Busy: Rushing around, never the time? That quick meal at a chain seems an easier solution. You’ll have to find the time to do this! You will need to create a plan and do your best to stick with it. Use a calendar or journal to help you. Go to the grocery store once a week with a well planned out list.
  3. Difficulty already with movement: Most individuals that are already overweight don’t think they are able to exercise enough to make a difference, so they just give up. Start slow.Starting off with a nice walk in the morning or early evening is a great way to start the body moving.
  4. The “I can’t do it” mentality:  There will be ups and downs, but don’t give up. You have what it takes and just because you attempted a diet or exercise program in the past determines your success this time around.Read a daily quote or find your inspiration from a friend or someone you know who has been there.  Ask them questions on how they did it!  Also, the practitioners at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center are available to support, motivate, and guide you.

People make changes every day,today should be your day! Learn more at our website www.twinpondscenter.com