We are on the threshold of a new year and for many people the month of December increases stress and anxiety as plans and obligations rise.
When unhealthy amounts of stress trigger the fight or flight response in everyday life it can leave us feeling sick, anxious, and unable to function properly.
Our healthy diet and lifestyle can stop dead in it’s tracks as we try to regain a sense of balance and feel well again. So how do we deal effectively with stress during this holiday season?
First off, we need to pinpoint what is causing our stress. If we dismiss this step, any efforts we make to relieve and deal with our stress will be futile. It will be beneficial for us to sit down and examine our routine and lifestyle to find the root cause of our stress. To be successful in this endeavor we can consult a professional who will assist us in determining the stressors we are dealing with. Only then can we take steps to deal with stress in a way that supports our health and goals.
Once we know whats stressing us out we can move on to managing and/or eliminating the stress. This can be done in many different ways, for example: breathing techniques, stretching, exercise, massage, balanced diet, getting a good nights sleep, and a variety of hobbies and activities. We will most likely have to try a couple of techniques out before we find what truly works for us.
To start out, we can try simple things such as building a calming sleep routine and making time for movement everyday. Just these two actions alone can go along way in keeping us mentally and physically able to manage stress.
If stress is keeping us from reaching our goals, we should take some time to determine what stressful factor is affecting us and why. The best course of action is to consult a professional who can help us find out the root cause(s) of our stress and then take action to find the technique that helps us reduce it.
Caitlyn Harbottle is a Peace region nutrition coach.