The next month is a stressful time. This is the most stressful time of the year. We stress ourselves out in every way imaginable. Your body responds to physical, chemical and emotional stress the same way. It does not know the difference. All it is feeling is STRESS.
This is the most stressful time of the year because we create huge amounts stress of all kinds. We over indulge in food and alcohol. Our sleep schedule is all over the map. We stress about what presents we are going to give our loved ones. We stress about what to feed our families when they get in town. Being around certain family members can be stressful.
These stressors are happening and you still have to perform at work. Needing to get everything thing done before taking time off. Hitting quotas for the end of the quarter. This list of stressors is endless.
Here are 3 things you can do to combat stress during the Holidays.
1. Wake up the same time every day.
This is an unpopular suggestion. Not having to go to school or work the following day is the excuse for you to eat too much, drink too much and stay up late. You know you don't have work obligations, so you can sleep in.
Your body gets accustomed to waking up and going to bed at the same time. When you change either or both of those, this adds stress to the body.
You see this in kids. You throw off their sleep and they get real cranky. You are no different. You know how to handle the expression of your crankiness better.
If you go to bed later than usual, still wake up at the same time. Do not add the stress of sleeping in to your body. Sneak away later on to take a nap if need be, but still wake up around the same time.
2. Enjoy your parties but keep it to those days.
I wrote this in the last blog and I can not emphasize it enough. Enjoy the days you have parties or special meals. Don't count calories, enjoy what you want to enjoy and do not feel bad about it. Don't let 1 day turn into 2 or 3.
The day after your indulgence get back to your healthy routines. Drink lots of water, eating as much whole foods, staying away from processed food is a great baseline.
"The Holidays" when broken down, is only 5 days. Add 3 parties to this and that is only 8 days. Not an entire month. We have given ourselves permission to send it in for an entire month and forget how to be healthy.
3. 24 Hour Fast 1 time per week.
A great way to reset your body is to give it enough time to recover. We do a number on our bodies during this time. You conserve a lot of energy by not eating for 24 hours.
The act of fasting has been going on for centuries. You will not waste away if you don't eat for 24 hours. The average American has enough energy stored in fat cells to fast for weeks and have no ill effects. Fasting for 24 hours will help get rid of chemical stressors. It is also a great exercise in willpower and help emotional stress.
This is a practice I incorporate into my life every week. It doesn't matter if it is during the holidays or not. They only time I don't is if I am on vacation.
These are 3 very simple things you can do over the next 4-5 weeks to help keep stress at bay and make for an enjoyable time.
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