Tips to Get Through the Holiday Stress
By Dr. Molly Casey
The end of the year is upon us. The holidays are here. For many folks that means crazier schedules than usual, more family time, less exercise and consuming more food (likely junk) and alcohol. Below are some tips to help you get through this period sticking most closely with what’s healthiest for you and keeps you feeling and being your best self!
This is a time of the year when folks are celebrating. A lot. Let’s assume that you actually don’t hate the holidays and want to engage and celebrate. With that being said, set your intention to have fun and have at it. Also know that having fun doesn’t mean going off the rails with no boundaries or guidelines to maintain a relative sense of health and well-being.
Call it like it is. If this is your favorite time of year to engage, socialize, cook, and enjoy, then perhaps a 30-day cleanse starting now isn’t the best idea. Head into parties and engagements with a realistic view of what’s up. Try to maintain some sort of balance. If you know you’ll likely indulge in more treats or drinks than usual in an evening, understand and lighten up in other ways during the day or the one following. This does not mean starve beforehand and pig out during. Or pig out during and starve the days after. Moderation and balance really is the key. Don’t show up hangry and overly irritated so you head right to the booze or cruddy appetizer table.
I get it, some of you may be laughing out loud right now. However, chronic low-grade stress is absolutely one of the unhealthiest elements of life. When you move through periods in which it’s heightened significantly for a period of time, the damage even increases with regard to your health and wellness -- not to mention how it affects your mental health. So do everything you can to minimize the big stressors throughout the holiday season. For instance, don’t over-plan. Folks often say yes to every invitation given during this time of year because it’s a party and who wants to miss out? Pay attention, though; this over-planning is often the root of considerable holiday stress. One simple way around this is to make plans with the individual or family throwing the party outside of the new year; that way you can connect and celebrate without added stress.
Stress-reducing practices such as meditation, exercise, and regular chiropractic adjustments can help. If you already have a regular routine, don’t let these things go by the wayside. If you don’t practice these kinds of things, this is quite literally a great time to start. It doesn’t need to be a big transition into three 20-minute meditation periods daily or going to the gym five days a week, but something, anything, can and will help. So engage or start now.
If you’re human, and you are, you will make mistakes and sometimes go outside of what is healthiest for you. Even moderation in moderation is a healthy approach. You’re likely going to eat one too many cookies or have one extra drink or forget one jog or workout. Offer yourself some grace. The stress of the harsh judgment and spiral of self-hatred that folks often participate in and silently suffer through is more detrimental than anything else listed above. Be kind to yourself and move on and make the next healthiest choice.
Have a great holiday season. Enjoy yourself. Get your spine adjusted so you’re in optimal health. Celebrate. Have fun. And remember even moderation in moderation, and that grace is the key.
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