The holiday season brings with it a sense of togetherness, joy, and gratitude—but it can elevate your stress levels. From shopping for gifts to planning social events and dinners, this time of year can be overwhelming to say the least. Having such a spike in these distressing emotions can be harmful to your physical and mental health, too.
Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways that you can keep your stress levels in check and enjoy yourself.
How Stress Affects the Body
Experiencing stress in small doses is normal. With sudden onset stress, your body is able to handle it. However, when you experience chronic stress, it can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health, manifesting in the following ways:
- Muscle tension
- Headaches and migraines
- Anxiety and depression
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Erectile dysfunction
- Irregular periods
- Fertility issues
- Decreased sex drive
Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels
Practicing techniques that promote relaxation, and other stress-relieving activities, can help to minimize its mental and physical effects. Here are a few ways you can keep your cool over the holidays.
Remember the Reason for the Season
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with the logistics of preparing for the holidays ahead, it is important to remind yourself of the real reason behind the holidays. By shifting your focus from dinners, parties, and presents to being present and expressing gratitude, it can help ease distressing emotions.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
In the midst of holiday activities, it is essential that you make time for yourself to relax and recover. Make it a point to find a moment in your day to calm down and decompress. Either right after waking up or right before bed, try practicing mindfulness and meditation to help you quiet your racing thoughts. Just 5 minutes of stillness during your day can make all the difference.
Share Some Laughs with Loved Ones
Did you know that laughter has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, improving both your mental and physical health? Sharing a smile and getting the giggles with loved ones can be beneficial in the following ways
- Relaxed your muscles
- Stimulates organ function
- Improves your heart health
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boosts your mood
- Reduces the production of stress hormones
- Increases endorphins
Contact Kirby Medical Center
At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.