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Animated image of a woman checking the list of gifts
The holiday season is upon us. Ideally, the holiday season would be packed full of only merry greetings and holiday cheer; however, for most of us, our holiday cheer is typically intertwined with heightened frustrations, hectic go-go-go draining days and increased stress.

In fact, a 2006 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) discovered that 61% of people reported an increase in stress during the holiday season. And more recent studies by the APA found that women tend to take on a greater burden of stress than men do (probably not a shocking discovery to most of us) – with 46% of women citing higher levels of stress throughout the holiday season as opposed to 31% of men. During the holidays, as a way of coping with the added stress, 41% of these women turn to food for comfort and 28% turn to alcohol.

While the occasional indulgence in comfort food and alcohol is okay, be wary of overindulging throughout the holiday season. The added stress and overabundance of holiday parties, junk-food packed work kitchens and gifts of sweet treats and bottles of wine make it exceptionally easy to indulge; but make sure to monitor how often you are “indulging” throughout the holiday season.

Don’t have to let holiday stress ruin your merry month.

Try to following as ways to reduce your stress and likelihood of indulging in unhealthy food and alcohol.

  • Exercise. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the looming holidays, take a 30-minute exercise break. You don’t have to even hit the gym. Take your dog for a walk or challenge your kids to a Wii sports game.
  • Eat healthy. Put down the holiday treats and eggnog. Reach instead for healthy alternatives like cinnamon and Splenda sprinkled apples or ” Zonified” Cheesecake. Refined carbs and sugars may provide you with a short burst of energy but the crash that follows soon after will leave you feeling worse than before. You’ll power through your long days if you make healthy food selections.
  • Kill Holiday Tension with Kindness. We can all get a little edgy around the holidays. Vanquish holiday tension and stress through kindness. Create a positive feedback loop by offering kindness to everyone you encounter, even those who do not offer it in return.
  • Manage Expectations. Understandably, most of us are under a lot of pressure during the holidays. Between a plethora of engagements, an overabundance of family members in attendance and lofty gift requests, there is too much to successfully juggle 100% of the time. While you want to make the holidays as memorable and magical as possible, understand that everything may not go as planned and turn potential missteps into opportunities.
  • Take Time for Yourself. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Make it a daily habit to take at least 5 minutes for yourself and do something you enjoy doing. Take a bath. Go for a quiet walk. Read a book. Take time to unwind and de-stress with an activity you enjoy.

Don’t let the holiday stress throw you off balance. Take a step back. Work to reduce your stress levels so you can continue living healthy throughout the holiday season.

And if you’re concerned about indulging too much over the holidays and needing to shed some of your holiday weight gain, give Calla Slimspa Medical Weight Loss Center in Winter Park, Florida a call.