The holiday season can be a stressful time for many of us. It’s possible that you have many obligations, you may have to “get along with” people you’d rather not talk to, or you might be hosting family or friends in your home. This can all skyrocket your stress level – but it doesn’t have to.
Sugar and Stress
One of the many contributors to rising stress levels in our nation this holiday season is the sheer volume of sugar that so many of us eat during this time of year. Your blood sugar level can be an enormous cause of stress.
When your glucose levels are stably in a healthy range, you can function at your best. However, when blood sugar levels spike or get too low, your body becomes stressed out and begins making a hormone called cortisol. This is the same hormone your adrenal glands produce when you’re in a frightening or upsetting situation.
There are many ways that you can spike your blood sugar levels. The most obvious methods of increasing blood sugar this season is erratic eating patterns and eating way too much sugar.
So, here are a few dos and don’ts that can help you keep your blood sugar level stay stable this holiday season:
Do: Eat in moderation.
Don’t: Just eat dessert.
Do: Eat a healthy breakfast every morning.
Don’t: Skip a meal because you are waiting for your giant meal in the evening (even on Thanksgiving!)
Do: Keep up your exercise schedule.
Don’t: Drink coffee or alcohol all day long.
Do: Monitor your energy levels.
Don’t: Throw caution to the wind and eat or drink anything you want.
With these simple tips, you can keep your blood sugar level on an even keel this holiday season.
Dealing with Common Holiday Stressors
Unfortunately, the holiday season can cause stress in more ways than one. So, just avoiding sugar and keeping up your regular schedule may not cut it this year. Typical holiday stressors like the anxiety you may feel in large crowds, worry that you will gain weight, and dealing with difficult relatives may make this holiday season feel less than jolly. That’s why we are providing five additional tips for dealing with common holiday stressors:
- Keep taking your Vitamin D.
Remember, the days are getting shorter, and you are getting less and less sunlight. That means you’re losing out on stress-busting Vitamin D! So, make sure you take Vitamin D throughout the fall and winter
- Don’t overcommit yourself.
Your time and energy are precious commodities. Budget them out accordingly. If you don’t want to go to a holiday get-together, don’t commit to going. If your youngster wants to see Peacock Lane, Zoo Lights, and go see Santa, start early and don’t promise to hit all of the sights.
This also means that you need to take out some “me” time this holiday season. Give yourself permission to relax in the tub, bike through your favorite park, or just to hang out in front of a crackling fire. The holidays are about giving – which means you are allowed to give to yourself.
- Plan ahead.
Mark your holiday get-togethers and activities on your calendar now and then block out days or even weeks where you are not allowed to schedule any other holiday appointments. Get your shopping done as early as possible. You can even make menus for any holiday meals you are hosting and shop for nonperishable ingredients now to get a jump on the season.
- Be as accepting as possible.
Because this is an election year, there will likely be political talk at some family gatherings – and it’s possible that not every one of your family members will agree with your ideas. Or it could be that you have family who simply rubs you the wrong way. Try to be open to other’s notions during your holiday festivities.
- Take advantage of our stress relief services.
Here at Change for the Health of It, we are offering an effective stress relief procedure called BioScan SRT. This system utilizes acupuncture, biofeedback, homeopathy, and laser light technology to help identify and balance your body’s response to specific stressors. Just click here or give us a call to set up your appointment.
We hope these tips will help you avoid holiday stress this season. If you are concerned about chronic stress, need help managing your weight, or are just hoping for some stress relief, contact us. We are here to help you Change for the Health of It!