Although the holidays are times filled with family, festivities and fun, it can also be a time of stress. Endless trips to the mall, office parties and holiday travel can lead to stress which can influence eating behaviors. Here are a few tips to help make this Christmas a little less stressful and more enjoyable:
1. Make a List and Check it Twice
“Writing provides perspective,” says Paul J. Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, NY. Make a gift list with a budget, then stick with it! You are more likely to spend within your limits with a list and you’ll be a lot less stressful in the new year.
2. Give yourself the gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh
Fragrant oils and spices such as chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and rose are all soothing and can be added to bath water to relax you. Preliminary research shows that aromatherapy can alter brain waves and behavior. It can reduce the perception of stress, increase contentment, and decrease levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
3. Have a Silent Night
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. So try to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
4. Rock Around the Christmas Tree
Exercise is a great stress buster. Don’t get so busy that you neglect your workout routine. Exercising will release chemicals called endorphins into your blood stream. These give you a feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of well-being. So play your favorite holiday music and get moving.