Dr. David Danskin from Kansas State University estimates 85 percent of doctor visits are due to stress-related causes. But not all stress is bad. As a matter of fact, we need a healthy level of stress in order to get out of bed and be productive human beings. It is only when you cross from healthy stress (eustress) to unhealthy stress (distress) that your health and performance are negatively effected.
If the holiday season is a time of distress for you, there are several ways to help manage your stress and anxiety. First of all, take time to “deep breathe” — not into your upper chest, but into your diaphragm. Inhale through your nose for 4 counts, feeling your belly expand. Hold your breath for 7 counts. Exhale through your mouth for 8 counts. If this is too difficult, simply adjust the counts and work up to it. Also, shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you find it hard to fall asleep, the breathing technique can help. Take time to pray or meditate.
Being faced with tempting holiday treats is simply going to happen —be mindful of how much and how often. Sugar and simple carbohydrates stress the adrenals.
Be sure to always exercise! You need it most during stressful times!