Stress and the Holidays

As I talked about in an earlier article this year, small amounts of stress are good for you.  At this time of year, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the different types of stress as they relate to the holidays and how we can help to support our bodies through them.

As you may know, stress comes in physical, emotional, and chemical packages.  During the holiday season, the physical stresses may look like exercising less due to time-constraints or they may look like exercising more while trying to fit into that special holiday dress!  The emotional stressors may include money worries, time-constraint worries while attempting to fit in seeing loved ones, concerns over feeling the need to see people that you wouldn’t normally choose to spend time with, or perhaps you just don’t like the holidays!  Chemical stress definitely includes the extra sweets that most folks consume at this time of year as well as overeating in general!

I think we can all agree that exercise is amazing for our bodies!  It is important to move your body in some fashion every day.  Exercise helps with sleep, energy, preventing dis-eases, and ensuring health and longevity to name a few benefits.  Some examples of great ways to exercise include walking, swimming, Yoga, running, biking, and various sports.  If you have a hard time exercising because you don’t feel like it or are time-constrained, I invite you to try on a new mindset to see if it shifts things for you!

While most people think of exercise as a punishment for what they’ve eaten, I like to think of exercising as a way to celebrate what my body can do.  I find that this different mindset makes exercise enjoyable.  The other thing that I believe is important with respect to exercising is to find what you love to do and then do that.  For me, I love lifting weights, hiking, and Yoga.  What is it that you love to do?  Throwing on some music and dancing for 30 minutes several times a week is a great way to get in your physical activity!  I also believe that varying your activities is good for your body so that you don’t overuse particular muscles and body parts which can result in injury.  Another thing that I have found very helpful is to schedule my workouts each day.  What gets scheduled gets done!  Finally, with respect to over-exercising, realize that you are not doing your body any favours as it will halt progress if it feels too much stress!  Amazing health and fitness is obtained one meal and one workout consistently over time.

Emotional stress is real!  It can also be very challenging to manage!  Our mindset is everything!  Some of the ways that I manage my mindset is through reading personal growth books, staying away from negative inputs such as news and negative people, deep breathing, and Yoga.  Also, through an illness that I had several years ago, I learned that if we do not acknowledge, work through, and release our emotions that they will get stored in the body and can develop into dis-ease.  Personal growth books and motivational speeches help me to have the words to maintain a positive mindset even through challenges.  I have learned that there are only good experiences and learning experiences.  I have learned to find the thing(s) to be grateful for in each experience.  Sometimes I have to dig a little deeper to find it is all!  Several years ago, I also chose to stay away from the news as well as to love and release some relationships that were not serving me as a way to manage some of the negative inputs into my mind.  I have learned that this is important because what we think about creates our emotions.  Our emotions create our actions.  Our actions create our results.  Deep breathing helps me to focus and centre during challenges and to reconnect with my body.  It also helps to release emotions from my body.  Lastly, Yoga is amazing for helping your body to release stored emotions.  Some days when I do the same pose, my muscles shake despite not shaking the past time that I did that pose.  My teacher informed me that these are stored emotions releasing from those muscles.  I invite you to give some or all of these ideas a chance and see which one(s) work for you.

Each one of us controls what goes into our mouth.  Despite this reality, it is often challenging to resist temptations at holiday parties and family meal get-togethers.  Some tips that I use that I hope assist you include:

  1. Drinking water about half an hour before a meal to ensure that my hunger isn’t actually thirst,
  2. Bringing snacks in my purse that are appropriate for me to eat,
  3. Loading my plate with vegetables and then choosing an appropriate sized portion of meat and complex carbohydrate,
  4. Deciding ahead of time what I will eat and then sticking to it, and
  5. Choosing to have one treat and sticking to it.

As I mentioned in the previous stress article, daily use of Ionix Supreme with the adaptogenic herbs helps your body to manage stress of all kinds.

 

Cleanse for Life will assist your body in ridding itself of toxins as well enable you to help manage your weight.

Getting adequate protein intake via IsaLean, IsaLean Pro, and IsaPro shakes ensures that your muscles develop strongly as well as recover quickly.

With advanced planning and adopting some or all of the ideas in this article, you can enjoy a lower stress holiday season!

If you enjoyed the information in this article and would like to walk with me on a journey to your better health or you have questions or would like more information, please contact me at tracy@pathsforhealing.com or 613-540-4515.