The cold weather has once again blown into town. With it comes the holidays, the hectic schedules and stress. The most common answer among patients in my office when asked if they are ready for the holidays is something along the line of: ‘Not yet’, ‘I wish” or ‘There’s just no time’. This feeling of urgency as the holidays approach is related to the increase in chores and deadlines that accompany this time of year. There seems to be more bills, gifts to buy, people to see, parties to attend, and all the while the stresses of daily life, work, money, and relationships are still present.

As I have said before, negative stress should be avoided in our lives because of all the negative implications it may bring about. With all the added stress of the holidays, our coping skills become even that much more important. Unfortunately, with the lack of time, they are the first to go. ‘I didn’t have time for the gym’, ‘I didn’t get to jog’ or ‘I didn’t have time to cook, so I just grabbed some fast food’. Soon we fall back into the bad habits that we have worked so hard all year to beat. In addition to all this, our bodies then have to deal with stress of more junk food, more alcohol, and less sleep that generally accompany this time of year. This leads to those notorious extra couple holiday pounds. The added stress, the increase in poor habits, the added weight these can really take their roll on our nervous systems.

It is even more important at this time of year to sit back and relax a bit. Don’t write off the healthy things in your life just for convenience sake. Stay on your exercise program and other stress coping strategies. Remember to maintain your regular chiropractic visits. Take time to rest and get proper sleep. Indulge in the things that make you happy such as food and drinks but do so in moderation. Just as you set health related goals throughout the year, set some throughout the holidays and reward yourself when you achieve them.

By practicing even a few of these suggestions, you will be more likely to maintain your health throughout the season; be less likely to get sick and be able to enjoy the holidays to their fullest. Beyond that, by not overdoing it this holiday season, there will be much less need for drastic New Year’s resolutions. Through these holidays, remember to have fun, indulge, be safe but remember, that without maintaining your health, nothing is possible. So this holiday season, stop stressing out and start the new year with your health and good habits intact.