We love the holidays, we hate the holidays – or at least we dislike the stress that can come with them.
It is well known that stress affects our entire system from our emotions to our heart rate. Sometimes that’s ok. If you suddenly need to escape danger, a stress reaction is normal and helpful. But when the stress burns continually, it can wear us down, trigger anxiety, and make us sick. And being in the business of fertility health, we at Cycle Technologies know that stress can even affect our ovulation and periods, causing them to be off schedule or increasing the intensity of cramps.
Luckily, counters to stress are also well known and proven to work. Here’s a list of simple, no-humbug remedies for more calm, healthy, and stress-reduced merrymaking:
No need for a boot camp. Just getting out for a brisk, half-hour walk a few times a week can go a long way in reducing the manifestations of stress.
Fill up on healthy foods first. You know – plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein. Then go ahead and enjoy those Christmas cookies, eggnog, and other holiday treats in moderation.
More and better sleep helps relieve stress. Less stress helps improve sleep. It’s a positive feedback loop with big benefits. It may be easier said than done, but aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to have more energy, better concentration, and enhanced motivation.
Increasing evidence shows that laughing can sooth tension, improve our mood, and even improve our immune system. Socialize with friends? Funny cat videos?
Ho-ho-ho! Yes, please.
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For further reading on stress management:
The four A’s
"Stress and Eating Behaviors"
"Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke"
"Glucocorticoids, Stress, and Fertility"
"Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function"
"Does Exercise Lower or Raise Cortisol Levels?"
"Stress and Sleep"