Holiday Blues or Holiday Bliss?

Get Enough Sleep  

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Being well rested is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress. If you are living with babies, pets, your partner’s snoring, and other outside circumstances that interrupt your sleep, it may difficult for you to “get enough sleep.” But you can actually make changes to improve your sleep time. By sleeping in a different room, for example, less stress will be your reward along with improved mental clarity and more energy.

If you are one of those people who wakes up at 3 a.m. worrying or with aches and pains, or you have trouble falling asleep herbs, acupuncture, and/or meditation may be a good solution. Take a good look at how you can get more sleep. Turn the TV or your phone off earlier, install light blocking curtains in your bedroom, allow yourself to take naps, and say no to social obligations when you really are too tired. If you use caffeine to “get through the day” gradually cut down on caffeine to allow yourself to be tired, and then to sleep when you feel tired.

The fall and winter are times to be a little less social, to slow your activities down, get more sleep, and to cozy up.

Move it!

Studies show that exercise boosts the immune the system by decreasing the body’s stress hormones and by increasing our feel good hormones that encourage a good night’s sleep. Try to get thirty to sixty minutes per day of moderate exercise like walking and move around throughout the day. Take a break from sitting for extended periods and do some light activity. Just getting up and moving around is a powerful way to reduce stress. It allows our muscles to move, encourages blood to flow and helps us feel better. Exercise also gets us breathing deeper, which triggers the body’s relaxation response.

Manage Stress

In general we all have stress. In a world where change is the only constant, stressful situations will always arise. There is nothing we can do about that. We can, however, learn to respond better to stress. “Responding “better” to stress takes a concerted effort to understand when you respond poorly to stressful situations and then finding new ways to cope.

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I frequently share information on meditation, yoga and tai chi which are great ways to reduce your stress. Even just 10 minutes a day makes a big difference. One study showed that people who meditated over an 8 week period had improved immune response up to four months later. There are a number of yoga studios and other healthy living groups in our area that teach yoga, meditation and tai chi. A quick Google search with yield a number of local yoga studios. And be sure to check your local recreation department for yoga, tai chi and other classes.

Spending time with loving friends and family also can help relieve stress. Watching funny movies, laughing more, dancing, listening to or playing music, getting a massage, acupuncture, taking a bath, exercising….there are many ways to de-stress. You just have to discover (or remember) what your way is, and commit to it before things get out of control. Lowering your stress levels boosts your immune system, not only preventing colds and flus, but other more serious diseases, too.

Acupuncture Works!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention acupuncture for stress reduction. Getting regular acupuncture treatments helps to turn off the stress response and boosts the immune cells that kill infection. Acupuncture can alleviate stress symptoms by releasing endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers. It also improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, which brings fresh oxygen to body tissues. This increased oxygen flow enhances recovery from diseases. Chinese medicine also decreases the stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, and relaxes muscle tissue.

Don’t wait to stress proof your body! Start now before the holidays are upon us. We’ve got some great Holiday Packages Specials that can help you get started. Give us a call to schedule your appointment.