5 Tips to enjoy a “Stress-Free” Holiday Season

The Holiday season should be an enjoyable one, filled with laughter, joy and love. That is not always the case for most people. Along with the holiday season comes more responsibilities and stress. Let’s take a look at some of the stressors associated with the Christmas Season.

  • Buying gifts
  • Working extra hours
  • Busy shopping malls
  • Traveling and traffic
  • Work/family/friend gatherings
  • Consumption of fatty/ high sugar foods and alcohol

Just thinking about it is enough to raise your cortisol and keep it elevated which contributes to weight gain, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and exhaustion to name a few. Not a fun way to enjoy the holidays and start off the new year!

Here are a few tips to help you stay calm and healthy during this time of year.

Tip#1: Don’t procrastinate. Getting the job done early is a great way to minimize stress. Make a list of all the things you need to buy and for whom. Check to see if you can buy your gifts online. Cozy up in your pyjamas and click away. Saves you time, money and frustration.

Tip #2: Make sleep a priority. Without enough rest, we can become irritable, tired, have increased cravings and gain weight. Try to aim for at least 8 hours a night. You will feel the difference, and I’m sure those around you will too!

Tip #3: Exercise. Just 20 minutes a day can help boost your mood, decrease stress and ward off cravings for sugar. During the holidays there is an increase in calorie consumption; therefore, increased caloric output is necessary to avoid weight gain.

Tip #4: Have an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes the stress of the holidays overshadows the true meaning of Christmas. Each day, try to take a few minutes to remember all that you are grateful for.

Tip #5: Don’t make up your mind that your weight loss goals will start in January. Set your new year’s resolution early. Start it now! Aim to lose weight over the holidays or at the very minimum maintain your weight. If you set this goals in your mind, you will have better control over your diet and lifestyle and will feel a whole lot better- not to mention, your new year will be off to a great start!

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

profile picDr. Jennifer Cisternino, ND



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