Sent by Monica Jennings on
Nov. 30, 2017
Protect Yourself from Holiday Stress
Orli R. Etingin, MD
Of the implications of both acute and chronic stress. The body’s “fight or flight” mechanism kicks into play when we are stressed for any reason. When this occurs,
a cascade of events sets off the release of several hormones. This hormonal signaling make us more likely to eat too much, crave sugar, deplete ourselves of sleep, and feel agitated.
Physical symptoms of stress may include heart palpitations, dry mouth,
stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, tense muscles, headaches, and many others. In addition, we know that chronic stress can lead to depression and can exacerbate symptoms of ulcers, asthma, and colitis. Even certain forms of heart disease are made worse by stress.
the best way to protect yourself against all the inevitable stresses of the Holidays? Maintaining your sleep and exercise schedules is probably the simplest, best thing you can do. Drinking alcohol can inhibit your judgement and stimulate your appetite, which
frequently results in eating too much and making unhealthy choices, so avoid alcohol or limit your intake. When you are going to holiday celebrations, have a small snack before you arrive to curb your appetite and help prevent binge eating. It’s unrealistic
to think that you won’t indulge in any treats at a party, but consider your choices and take small portions of two or three items that are most appealing, rather than noshing your way down the buffet table.
The holiday season tends to be fraught with
family and relationship stresses as well. If you have a history of feeling anxious, depressed, upset or overwhelmed at this time of year, it’s a good idea to seek medical help and/or counseling in advance if possible.
The holidays are supposed to be a
joyous time – but you won’t be feeling very joyful if you are stressed out and exhausted. At this time of year, make sure to take some time to focus on yourself and make the healthy choices that will help you in the holiday spirit.