The last six months have created a pressure cooker of stress for even the wealthiest among us, let alone for the average Joe or Jill out there, trying to support a family and actually enjoy the holiday season. Many folks fear a pink slip is yet to come, credit card companies are loaning less money, mortgage payments are increasingly difficult to make - stress is here and it hurts. If we don't figure out how to manage our stress than we can quite easily succumb to:
- Poor immune response and more winter ailments
- A growing belly and all its associated health risks
- Inflammation in our body that can lead to arthritis, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, periodontal disease
- Faster aging since stress seems to accelerate aging
What's a stressed person to do??
Get moving - Exercise leads to lower heart rates, endorphin boosts, dilated blood vessels (lower blood pressure), better sleep patterns, reduced stress hormones.
Get a good night's sleep - If that means using short term medications like Ambien and Rozarem, which clear out of your blood stream quickly and don't seem to have serious addictive potential, then you may have to do so. The value of several nights of deep sleep to reduce stress is invaluable.
Get out more - Socializing does bring joy into the most stressed of lives. Don't underestimate a night out with the girls, a movie with a friend, a book club meeting, a knitting class.
Chill out - Meditation has been found to be immeasurably beneficial to serious cardiac patients in terms of lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety, so learn from that knowledge. You can put on headphones and tune out with music, do some yoga poses and breathing or just zone out.
Find someone to love - Love has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. It lowers both adrenaline and cortisol levels.
Laugh a bit - Read the comic strips, rent a comedy, watch the Late Show - laughter can reduce stress dramatically.
Take stock - and change your perspectives - maybe you do have less this year, but if you do have a roof over your head, a job, a family - you are quite rich!!
Published On: December 03, 2008