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4838 E.Baseline Road
Suite 103
Mesa, AZ 85206
Tel: 480.926.8000

GETTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS


We’ve reached that time of the year when we can pamper ourselves with parties, decorations, time with family, leisure time, and, of course, HEAPS of very tasty food. Oh wait… how about the stress, the flu, congested roads, crowds at the malls, time with vexing relatives and some extra padding around the waist?  We don’t mean to sully the holiday spirit by evoking the spirit of Scrooge, but even the cheeriest of us is likely to experience one or more of these things over the holidays. So we thought it was a good time to share some of our favorite tips for getting through the holidays…

Avoiding Stress
Many of us view stress as part and parcel of the holidays, and perhaps this isn’t surprising. Our lives these days are VERY busy. Cramming all the holiday extras into the daily hustle and bustle of our modern lives is a sure way to begin to feel overwhelmed. If you’re beginning to feel stressed, anxious, or feel like you’re about to freak out… try some of these simple suggestions…

Breathe: (INHALE…EXHALE…DEEPLY) There are some great benefits that come with breathing deeply, including improved blood flow, stress reduction, and the lowering of blood pressure. Try deeply inhaling the fragrance when you’re cutting a piece of fruit.

Be Balanced: Many of us over-commit to things, and have trouble saying no. It’s okay to just say, no. When you’re overcommitted this can lead to burnout, stress, and even resentment, which would put no one in the holiday spirit.

Stay on Budget: Try not to overspend, you may just end up stressing about it well into the New Year. Before hitting the stores, have a gift budget in mind, and when you do reach the store, resist the temptation to look around and go directly to where you need.

Make Time for Exercise: If you’re worried about your fitness levels dropping faster than Santa down a chimney, worry not. Set a daily goal to do just half an hour of physical activity. Maybe you can park at the very end of the parking lot, or just take the stairs instead of the escalator.

MIND YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Make no mistake, the holiday season fills your doctor’s schedule faster than last month’s thanksgiving dinner filled your stomach. Not that your doctor won’t be happy to see you, but they’d much rather see a healthy you for your annual visits. Here are some helpful tips for staying healthy over the holiday season…

If you haven’t already, Get Your Flu Shot: Think of this as not only looking out for yourself, but protecting your loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Sleep Well: But there’s so much shopping to do, so much cooking, so much cleaning—don’t forget the parties! What of the shortened days. Sound familiar? The CDC reports that the  GETTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYSaverage adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. When we don’t meet this level, experts refer to this as sleep debt, and there’s no such thing as catching up. So be sure to protect your sleep hygiene, despite all the extras. If you find this is a chronic problem, discuss this with your doctor and work together to figure something out.

Take Probiotics: Just a few of the benefits from taking Probiotics include enhancing the immune system, and enhancing digestion (particularly relevant during the holidays.)

Use Honey in Your Holiday Cooking: Honey helps boost the immune system and is an antioxidant. The best honey is darker in color. As a plus, it also helps with coughs and sore throats.

Avoiding Weight Gain
Food is closely connected to our emotions and family traditions. It doesn’t help that the holidays often come with stress, and guess what many of us turn to doing when we’re stressed? Here are some helpful tips to help keep you from adding weight loss to your resolutions next year.

Watch Alcohol Consumption: Whoever said that alcohol was just empty calories, may not have owned a weight scale! Additionally, alcohol raises blood sugar levels, which will eventually drop, and leave us licking our lips and with the munchies. Eating protein before your cocktail can help with this.

Use Half Fat Ingredients When Cooking: No one has to know!

Make Healthy Choices: Fill your plate with fruits and veggies. Add some cheese; that little bit of fat will keep your satisfied. Add a small serving of some lean protein, such as skewered chicken or beef. Avoid the dipping sauce (that’s where the calories are hiding).

Be Thankful
Research shows that those who are grateful have 23% stress hormones circulating in their  GETTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYSsystem, compared to people who are stressed out. Being thankful is easy enough to aim for when that rude person just hadn’t snagged that parking spot you’ve been waiting on for the last few minutes. Why not try giving these tips a go…

Buy out just 10 Minutes of Alone Time Each Day: Think of something that truly makes you happy, it could be reading, getting a facial (hint, hint), or enjoying some music. It doesn’t matter what it is, particularly. All that matters is that it gives you a bit of space to count your blessings.

Start New Family Traditions: Traditions can help nourish one another and aid in strengthening bonds. They can help foster a sense of security, safety, stability, and good-will. Traditions need not be elaborate. They can be as simple as visiting somewhere nearby on the same day each year.

Express Appreciation: Many benefits come from expressing your appreciation of others. These include better sleep, reduced aggression, enhanced empathy, greater self-esteem. And those are just naming a few…

Keep a Gratitude Journal: The act of journaling has shown to be phenomenal for mental health, gratitude can help alleviate negative emotions and provide a buffer of emotional resilience. Journaling has also shown to improve memory and comprehension, improve communication skills, helps in achieving goals, and strengthen self-discipline. Why not start one over the holidays?

 

That’s about all we have. Have any tips on getting through the holidays you’d like to share? Visit us on Facebook, post it on our wall. We’d love to be able to share some of your suggestions next year. From all of us at Full Circle Health, we wish you a magical holiday season and a beautiful New Year of Looking Good, Feeling Good and Enjoying Life!

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