December 2018 Newsletter
What does that even mean? Is this a kind way of saying that during the other 11 months of the year you are allowed to act as asinine as you choose without consequence?? Or is the public trying to encourage you to hold your crap together during the most stressful time of the year?! I think you can count on reason #2.
Tis the season to be jolly: A.K.A hold your crap together while you’re significantly stressed out! This is the time of year where most individuals don’t even realize which day of the week it is. Therefore most are constantly looking at their calendar app to ensure they didn’t forget anything. HOWEVER; there is always those 3 appointmentsthat you are sure you will never forget and to top it off….it DID NOT get put on your calendar. And low and be hold…..you remember last minute and have to the do the blissful seasonal rush to make sure you’re on top of it!
So my question to you is…..what are you doing to help keep yourself cool calm and collected during the holiday season without having to dip into the Egg Nog too early?
Before we review stress management techniques, let’s start the discussion on why these techniques are essential to our well-being. What constitutes as stress? Stress is the body’s response in protecting itself from a known threat. When the body senses chaos or a need for high demand an automatic process begins primarily known as the “fight or flight”response. So it would be simple to think if we can just eliminate the so called threat in our lives, we can live stress free! Sadly, the primary causes that create a stress reaction include finances, family obligations, and major life events such as getting married, divorce, moving, death, etc. Essentially….having a life! All of which creates emotional ups and downs and putting our body through the ring around. When stress levels are elevated, this can cause an irregular response to our cortisol levels. For those of you that don’t know, cortisol isa hormone that is released by the adrenal glands to assist in regulating blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, regulating metabolism, and encouraging memory formation. Now when I think of regulating blood sugar levels, it reminds me of crazy Aunt Mildred that will about chew your head off if you don’t feed her right on time. I think all of us can think of that one person that gets Hangery just before meal times. For me its my husband! As for inflammation, I think all of us have had the privilege of busting our butts above and beyond before a major event and when all is successfully completed….we get sick! Since our stress levels are heightened, our cortisol levels become irregular and our body can’t protect itself from inflammation resulting in an abundance of junk in our system. This junk then resonates in our joints creating stiffness and body aches….and/or our bodies immune system gets over run and we find ourselves with the common cold. But, I have to admit that my all-time favorite part about irregular cortisol levels is the aspect of you losing your mind through forgetfulness in addition to the thickening of your waistline. Its not enough that stress cause slow energy, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, reduced immune response, and body pains….but to add the icing on the cake it also makes you fat AND dumb! Now that’s just cruel!
WellI don’t know about you but I think stress reducing techniques is a must because I’m pretty sure working around the clock to avoid financial burdens and trading in my spouse and kids is not an option for me. So how does one reduce stress levels. Well first and for most, nutritionists and dieticians everywhere will tell you that what you put into your body profoundly impacts what comesout. Therefore, happy foods, such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, etc will make you feel happy. While sad foods, such as fried, fatty, sugar, caffeine, etc. will make you feel sad. Sad foods creates a dependence leading you to think they are actually needed to maintain functionality. Therefore, I call them the foods of the enemy. Because they drag you down just like your enemy would want you to be.
Otherways to reduce stress outside of a consistent exercise regimen is meditation,massage, aromatherapy, journaling,etc. The idea is to give yourself the take away affect. Your mind needs a mental vacation to make peace. That mental bliss will resonate through the rest of your body and provide solace. It really doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as it allows you to find the time for that much needed break. Anytime I notice that might husband is particularly tightly wound….I tell him to go fishing. I have had other clients that have needed to go to the shooting range or golf range just to feel like they escape from the world once a week. My message to you for this holiday season is to take care of yourself first and for most by doing something to reduce your load this season. This will keep that spring in your step and reduce your chances of becoming the nutcracker.