The holiday season is usually filled with family gatherings and holiday parties, but sometimes the holidays can get overwhelming and stressful. By decreasing your stress levels, you will be able to function ideally. On the last blog post, I addressed the need for consumption of nutrient dense foods (Optimize your Health Part I: Food) because optimal health is not reached by changing one aspect of your life. Your health depends upon proper nutrition, rest, and exercise; all three are of equal importance.
Stress is a part of life, but it’s our response to stress that is the difference maker. When stress has taken its toll, it is important to understand that you are in control. Let’s discuss ways that you can combat stress.
A way to combat stress immediately is slow diaphragmatic breathing. Proper breathing technique is extremely important. If you are breathing with more chest and shoulder involvement, then you are not taking in the optimal amount of oxygen. To determine if you are breathing inadequately, look in the mirror, and breathe normally. If your chest and shoulder move more than your belly, then you must practice diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is the best form because you are able to fill your lungs fully. The Cleveland Clinic has a great explanation on this technique (Diaphragmatic Breathing).
A less stressful work environment or home is important for productivity. Less stress equals more productivity. Studies show that air quality, light wattage, work station ergonomics, and office layout impact work productivity. Clutter is controllable. The more clutter in your environment the more opportunity for objects to divert your attention. It’s hard to focus with clutter. The best way to de-clutter, is ask yourself, “Do I use this often?” If the answer is no, throw it away. If the answer is yes, store it into a proper file or box. If the answer is sometimes, put it into a separate file or box that is labeled. Do this with supplements, cosmetics, documents, clothes, or anything that can distract you.
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and News Year along with your busy schedule, reducing social obligations during the fall/winter months can be helpful too. Instead of planning that long road trip, try spending the weekend at home. A weekend at home with family and friends can go a long way to help you recharge for the busy holiday season.
May your fall and winter be as stress free as possible! Take a deep breath and relax. My next post quick post- quick and easy exercises to get your blood flowing and large muscle groups activated.
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