We created our Top 5 Tips For Holiday Stress for very good reason. Inevitably, we have at least two people call us during the month of December and say this, "I woke up this morning and can't move my neck." We all know that the holidays can be full of joy, but they can also be ridiculously stressful. High expectations from those around us, less healthful eating, less sleep, possibly financial strain from gift purchases all add up to a lot of tension in our bodies.
It's very common for our regular clients to come in during the month of
December with more pain in their bodies from all the stress. These are
some of the suggestions we've made to clients, and followed ourselves
for years...they come from a combination of books we've read on
simplifying your life:
#1 Just Say NO!
Many of us overcommit during the time leading up to the holidays. If you are stressed about the amount of shopping, planning and juggling you have to do to attend everything you've been invited to, you can PASS! Make a decision NOT to attend one or two of the holiday parties, and you may have a chance to sit down with your own family and relax in the quiet of your own home, pass on cooking a dish to share, light the fire, and cue up your Netflix for the night.
#2 Opt-Out of Some Gift Giving
Tell some the people you are sharing the holidays with that you are making all homemade gifts (or cookies, or cards, or passing altogether on gifts) this year, and you would love it if they would choose the simplicity and enjoyment of the season. Tell them that you would rather just spend some time with them without the complication of shopping and finding something that will just end up in their hall closet anyway. You can claim you are trying to be 'green', if that resonates with you, or just tell them that you feel strongly that it will allow you all to spend more meaningful time together, and eliminate some of the stress from all of your lives. If they STILL choose to purchase a gift, tell them thank you, and don't feel badly.
#3 Make Rest a Priority
For those of you who know us, you know we work on this one constantly. Everyone should be aware of the health ramifications of being strung out with not enough sleep: reduced immune response, more intense cravings of simple carbohydrates and sugar, reduced ability to deal with stress, increased levels of stress hormones, increased levels of pain and muscle tension...and more. Work on getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and notice how you're more patient, flexible (attitude and body) and go into your new year with a strengthened constitution.
#4 Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause joint and muscle pain, fever, greatly reduce your ability to digest your food AND metabolize fat, cause headaches, increase the appearance of lines in your skin, make you more prone to kidney and bladder infection and more. You don't need to add any of this to your holiday roster! I don't think any of you want to look old and fat for your parties!
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, meaning they push fluid out
of your body. The general water consumption rule of thumb is half your
weight in ounces each day, with an added cup of water for every cup of
caffeine or alcohol that you consume. This will allow your body a
fighting chance to survive the holidays.
...and last, but not least...
#5 Take time to be still and enjoy your time with your families and friends.
Enjoying every moment, and taking the time to be present will take you a long way through the year. Make a choice to slow down and really BE with those around you, making memories that will last your lifetime. We have lost dear friends in the last year, and we had no idea that last year would be our last holiday season with them. Your next year will undoubtedly bring joy...be sure you enjoy some of it now, too.
We send you wishes for an abundant and joyful holiday season, and hope to be able to serve you in some way in the coming year. Thank you for being a part of our lives...whether our online friends, or personal contacts!
Yours in Health
Tiffany and Gary
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