All I have to do is hear the word holiday or look at the calendar to see how close the holiday's are and my heart starts to race. So much to get done! I put so much pressure on myself to make things perfect that it is hard not to get stressed out. Plus, I work full-time with a really long commute so that doesn't help the situation. From meal-planning, to parties, to decorating the house, and shopping for gifts, how will it all get done?
But stressing about the holidays is actually really bad for your health. And it makes the time when things should be enjoyable dreaded. Stress affects the body in ways you may not notice right away. In fact, when stress is a constant part of your life it can lead to disease. Our bodies want to be healthy and will fight their hardest against the affects of stress.
Physical signs of stress can be a racing heart, insomnia, feeling sad, low energy and frequent colds. Your body will try to fight these stresses by constantly attacking the areas that are stressed. If your heart is racing, the cardiovascular system will try to slow it down. If you are feeling sad, your body will send energy to the cells to overcome the sadness. When your body is working this hard to combat stress, it becomes fatigued. When your body is fatigued, it cannot effectively fight for you to be healthy and stay healthy.
So what can you do to support your body to help fight stress? Here is what you can do to beat holiday stress:
1) Get moving. Our bodies want to be active to help generate energy at a cellular level. We were never meant to sit at a desk 8 to 10 hours (or more) a day. We were never meant to sit in cars in traffic for hours on end. We were never meant to live sedentary lives in front of computers or TV's. We were meant to move. This doesn't mean going to a fitness club or taking expensive exercise classes. You can if you want but moving your body can be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk or bike ride. You get fresh air and your body gets energy to fight stress. Already have a workout routine? Don't let the holiday's derail your routine. Now is the time to stick to your workout schedule. If you haven't been exercising in awhile, make sure to check with your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to exercise. There are also a lot of free workout classes on YouTube. Find one that is interesting to you and try it!
2) Eat organic and eat mostly plants. Organic food is higher in nutrients which means you will feel full faster and longer. Eating mostly plants does not mean you have to become a vegetarian or vegan. Try having a meatless dinner once a week. Another favorite trick of mine is to avoid rice or pasta as a side dish. Serve two veggies instead. This will help you get a lot of great vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as chlorophyll into your body. Your body will thank you for this by taking all those nutrients and generating energy at the cellular level. Your cells will fight for you to be healthy and stay healthy. Not sure how to make a meatless meal? Below are some easy recipes to try: