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Holiday Stress (Holiday Tips #2)

Holiday Stress Sketch

Holiday stress is common and likely impossible to avoid altogether. However, a few strategies could help to effectively reduce your stress this Holiday season, leaving you with more time and energy to experience the joy and happiness.

First, think about stress like a teakettle on the stove with the temperature rising. If you want to keep the whistle from blowing, you'll want 2 separate strategies:

  1. Turn down the heat. Take time periodically in activities that help you keep the stress from boiling over in the first place. Go for regular walks, pray or meditate, or take a nature break a few times weekly, for example.
  2. Open the lid. In those moments where stress becomes overwhelming, have "emergency strategies" to alleviate the tension quickly. Take a quick walk or listen to some music. One of our clients used to lie on the floor in her office and take deep breaths for 2 minutes.

When dealing with stress, it's known that many of the things we reach for don't actually reduce our stress, and may in fact actually increase it. Listed below are some tools you might use to manage stress, and others that are likely best avoided.

Effective stress management techniques:

  • Exercise

  • Prayer

  • Meditation

  • Reading

  • Time in nature

  • Massage

  • Hobbies/crafts

  • Time with "easy" family/friends

  • Listening to music

Ineffective techniques:

  • Eating

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Smoking

  • Gambling

  • Video games

  • Shopping

  • Watching TV

  • Surfing the web

  • Spending time on social media

(For most people, stress levels remain unchanged after engaging in these "ineffective" techniques)

Going deeper

Have a super week,

Dr. Topher Fox

P.S. If you missed any previous emails, the content is posted weekly here

P.P.S. Below are the pictures from my exam room wall which we are exploring for this email series. 

Dr. Christopher Fox I am a board-certified endocrinologist in Superior, CO, and I have been in private practice since 2003. People I work with achieve success when they learn all the ingredients of healthy lifestyle and the system to consistently follow through on good intentions. I use my knowledge of endocrine science, psychology, neuroscience, and human behavior to help people make meaningful, lasting changes in their health that they can sustain long-term.

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