by Diana Malekos, LCSW, LADC, Vitality for Life
Q: What can I do to help lower my level of stress during the holiday season?
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is known to increase the levels of stress we encounter in our daily lives.
You are not alone if you are experiencing heightened levels of stress during the holidays.
Here are a few healthy tips to reduce stress:
Laugh: Laughter has been known to lower levels of stress hormone and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. Cousins (1998) reported that 10 minutes of belly laughs provide two hours of pain-free sleep.
Take a moment during your day to just laugh it out. Not only is it healthy, you will enjoy it.
Breathe: Do you ever pay attention to how you breathe? Many of us are shallow breather’s which means, we don’t completely inhale or exhale. Deep breathing is beneficial because it sends a message to our brain telling it to “chill-out”. Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20617660)
Exercise: During the holidays our schedules have a tendency to become overloaded. The last thing you want to do is put your exercise routine on hold. Exercise and keeping active are helpful in reducing stress. Whether you take a walk or ride your bike, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercise is a great way to help lower stress. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and- stress/SR00036)
Take time for yourself, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy and enjoy the holiday season!
, is a primary therapist for Vitality For Life, a senior mental health service located on the second floor of the Carson Valley Medical Center main campus, 1107 Highway 395 N in Gardnerville. Call 775.782-1599 for more information about the services we offer and how we can be of assistance to you during your troubling time.
PRIMARY THERAPIST OF VITALITY FOR LIFE