Good Habits Can Reduce Holiday Stress
By Salveo Direct Care
The holidays are just around the corner. Although we look forward to gathering with loved ones and events of the season, extra responsibilities can stretch schedules and wreak havoc with healthy lifestyle goals. Opportunities to overindulge in calorie-laden treats or alcohol can derail positive practices that keep your health on track.
You don’t have to put your health on the back burner until the new year. Lifestyle and Family Medicine doctors and husband and wife team, Prisiliano Salas, M.D., and Monica Salas, M.D., suggest ways to help you enjoy the holidays in a vibrant, peaceful and relaxed way without losing sight of selfcare.
“I advise people to be kind to themselves during this season and realize that even if they aren’t practicing their healthy habits as perfectly over the holidays like they normally would, it’s not a personal failing,” Dr. Monica said. “Part of the richness of life is to be able to enjoy and celebrate with loved ones.”
Dr. Monica suggests that while it might be too ambitious to expect to follow your usual exercise routine, don’t give up on everything. “Get creative and think about where you can fit in physical activity like taking a walk at lunch or strolling through an outdoor market. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.”
Regular physical activity is one of the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine, which also include healthy nutrition, restful and adequate sleep, stress reduction and management, an environment of positivity in healthy relationships, and avoidance of harmful substances.
The holidays can be a stressful time as families might have experienced major changes or the loss of a loved one. Dr. Monica advises people to take some time to focus on the simple things in the present rather than dwelling in the past or overly worrying about the future.
The Salases’ practice, Salveo Direct Care, offers patients access to a tranquility suite complete with anti-gravity massage chair, Alpha-stim electrotherapy and both an in-house mental health counselor and a personal trainer. Alpha-stim therapy activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system to help people become more in tune with their body’s physical sensations and achieve a greater state of calm.
“So much of person’s health starts with mindset,” Dr. Monica said.
“If you are new to these ideas, mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big commitment. Just five minutes of guided meditation a day will provide a big payoff in stress relief. People often use it to wind down to help them get a good rest,” she said.
In keeping with Lifestyle Medicine’s emphasis on restorative sleep, Dr. Monica advises to build in days for rest, especially if parties will keep you up later than usual. Often people are unaware how too much alcohol can impair their sleep. Dr. Monica suggests people cease alcohol at least two hours before bedtime. “Take things slowly and drink plenty of water,” she said. “Moderation is a good watchword.”
Before the season gets into swing, set yourself up for success. “The less you have to worry about health concerns, the more you are going to enjoy life,” Dr. Salas said. “We want to help people increase their health span, not just their lifespan.”