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Handling Holiday Stress


As everyone knows, December is probably the most stressful month of the year. What we do not always take into consideration is the fact that there are multiple types of stress.  There is physical stress, emotional stress, and chemical stress.

Physical stress is bountiful in the holiday season amidst putting up Christmas decorations, shoveling snow, driving hours on end to family gatherings, and just plain inactivity.  Emotional stress comes in all directions whether it is financial strain from buying copious amounts of gifts, family turmoil, or finishing work deadlines before the extended vacation weekends.  Everyone's favorite holiday stressor comes in the form of chemicals.  Some like to go heavy on the stuffing and dressing, while others like to indulge with wine and cheese at the family gathering.
Nevertheless, we must be aware that when our bodies are under higher levels of stress and take the appropriate action steps to ensure good health habits prevail.

Tip #1- Do not deviate from your regular healthy outlets.  Keep your workouts on schedule at the gym, attend yoga, and get your chiropractic adjustment.

Tip #2- Everything in moderation.  One of my favorite sayings in life.  It is easy to fill up your Christmas party plate two or three times and indulge in a few extra glasses of wine.  Try using a smaller plate to control your portion sizes and drink plenty of water with your meals to help your body digest properly.

Tip #3- Take time to relax.  Enjoy being around family and reminisce of the time Uncle Frank spent the entire day with cheese on his new shirt.  Play a board game or cards together to have fun, but try not to stay up too late because you still want to be getting proper amounts of sleep.

Tip #4- Activate your core muscles more. Whether you are driving 7 hours to visit the in-laws or carrying up Christmas bins from the basement, make sure your lower back is protected.  When lifting a box, always make sure that you are bending from your knees and your hips.  You will get more strength and power from your legs than you will lifting with your back.  If you are shoveling, keep the handle in front of your belly button and walk with the shovel directly in front of you so that you are avoiding any twisting motions through your spine.

Tip #5- Change, control or let go of things you cannot change.  Sometimes we know where are boundaries are at but we let ourselves get worked up over the littlest things.  Maybe it is learning to say no to some things.  Try not to sweat the small stuff, keeping in mind it is a time to be thankful and enjoy being with those we love the most.

Tip #6- Volunteer.  When is the last time you went to the local soup kitchen or shelter to donate your time.  This fulfilling activity will keep your spirits high throughout the holiday season.  Most charities are looking for help from good samaritans, so step your game up and do a little extra this year for someone you may not even know.

Unfortunately, chiropractic care will not eliminate your stress, but staying adjusted will make sure your body is able to adapt to stress at its highest potential.

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