There is much to like about the holidays – the Christmas spirit, holiday music, bright and cheerful decorations, spending time with family, and delicious food. But anyone can experience some stress during the holidays – dealing with heavy traffic, long waiting lines, traveling, and preparing for guests can cause anxiety. Disruptions in your diet and exercise or sleep can also affect your physical and mental health. So, it is advantageous to have ways to manage holiday stress.
Here are some tips to stay healthy and relieve stress over the holiday season: Considering the whole body, here are some tips to stay healthy and relieve stress over the holiday season:
1. Get 8 hours of sleep.
Eight hours of sleep is critical for your physical and mental health. Getting less than optimum sleep can cause a lack of energy, trouble remembering things, a reduced attention span, slowed thinking, a reduced sex drive, poor decision-making, irritability, daytime sleepiness, and stress! We suggest to get a good 8 hours of sleep, do the following:
- Do not use any electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.
- Set up your room so that it is completely dark. If you can’t do that, get a good sleep mask to sleep in complete darkness.
- If noises keep you from going to sleep or wake you up, try earplugs or a sound machine.
2. Avoid Sugar
Many people turn to sugary foods when they feel stressed. Eating sugary foods may temporarily relieve some stress. However, over the long term, this habit promotes obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Furthermore, the repeated consumption of high-sugar foods during stress may develop into a habit, making it increasingly difficult to stop the pattern of stress-eating. So, if you want to manage stress, avoid sugar.
3. Limit Alcohol
There are many reasons to limit your alcohol consumption.
- Firstly, alcohol has no nutritional value to your body. It has no protein, minerals, or vitamins to nourish your body. Alcohol inhibits the absorption and usage of vital nutrients such as vitamins B1, B12, folic acid, and zinc.
- Even if you drink alcohol several hours before bed, alcohol interferes with your normal sleep cycle.
- Alcohol affects muscle development and recovery.
- Alcohol causes dehydration which slows the body’s ability to heal.
4. Eat Some Stress-Relieving Foods
Here are some foods you can eat that are packed with nutrients that can help relieve stress:
- Dark Chocolate
- Chamomile Tea
- Organ Meats
5. Try Some Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing sends more oxygen into your body and can help calm your nerves and reduce stress and anxiety. Deep breathing can also help relax your muscles which can reduce pain. You can also take a walk and take some deep breaths as you walk. Taking a walk and looking around your environment, along with some deep breaths, can do much to relieve stress.
6. Get a Chiropractic Adjustment.
Pain can also trigger stress and vice versa. With chiropractic and the other treatments we offer here at Carolina Rehab, we can assist in the healing process and provide pain management which is crucial to your physical and mental well-being.
Have some fun.
It never hurts to go out and have fun to relieve some stress. Here are some holiday activities in Myrtle Beach you may enjoy:
Winter Wonderland at the Beach, December 17-23
Legends in Concert
Alabama Theater Christmas Show
The Carolina Opry Christmas Special
For more information on holiday events and shows, you can go to Visit Myrtle Beach.
Here at Carolina Rehab and Physical Medicine Center, we practice Functional Medicine. We treat the whole person to get you healthy and back to living the life you want to live. We focus on discovering the root causes of problems. In other words, we focus on locating what triggers your symptoms instead of focusing on your symptoms. To learn more about Functional Medicine, you can read our blog, The Functional Medicine Approach to Health.
We hope you have a fantastic, stress-free holiday!
Dr. Craig Stickland