No matter how you celebrate the various holidays in December, there is always some stress associated with it. I let it get the best of me the past couple of days and have felt no energy as a result and have had to force myself to just "chill" so to speak.
As a result, your challenge today and for the rest of this week (though will be other challenges too) is to destress and take time for yourself. Here's how:
6 Ways to Stress Less During the Holidays
Everyone knows the holiday season brings plenty of joy ó as well as the chaos and stress of last-minute shopping, multiple parties, and gatherings you're hosting for friends and family. What you may not know is that chronic stress can contribute to the development of numerous illnesses, including migraines, depression, and heart disease, not to mention interfering with your weight-loss goals. Symptoms of chronic stress (generally characterized by long-term pressure, tension, or strain) include difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, and memory problems. People suffering from chronic stress may also become easily irritated and anxious or develop head, stomach, and muscle aches. Thatís why itís so important to keep stress at bay ó or at least to manage it effectively. Following a healthy eating plan like the South Beach Diet can help reduce your stress and your risk of certain chronic disease, but there are other steps you can take to de-stress as well.
Reduce stress now with these easy ideas:
Eat a balanced diet. Choosing the nutrient-dense fare recommended by the South Beach Diet benefits both your body and your mind. Eating the right foods should minimize cravings, which will help you feel better.
Stay active. When you exercise, the brain releases multiple mood-enhancing chemicals that can help relieve the effects of stress. Aim for 20 minutes of exercise that incorporates aerobic interval training most days of the week.
Get enough sleep. When the body is well rested, it is better able to cope with stressful situations and emotions. While sleep needs vary, most adults require seven to nine hours to feel adequately rested. Even with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, aim to get a consistent amount of shut-eye.
Practice relaxation or meditation. Spend a dedicated amount of time each day stretching or breathing with no distractions or interruptions. This can help you collect your thoughts while promoting an overall sense of well-being.
Manage your to-do list. Chances are you can't make every party or visit with every relative this holiday season. Determine your priorities and learn to say no to some engagements.
Make time for yourself. Try to get a little peace and quiet at some point each day. Whether you take a warm bath, read a magazine, or watch TV, make sure this time is free from distractions.
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