The Real Effects Of The Holidays On Your Body, Mind

17 December 2019

Tis the season of parties, gifts and fun, but all that celebrating can wreak havoc on your body—both physically and mentally. Statistics from organizations ranging from the American Psychological Association to the National Center for Health Statistics to financial groups show that people feel an excess of stress during holiday time, worrying about money, time and family pressures. So how can you heal or at least refresh the mind and body? Here are three ways to keep yourself in at your best. 

The problem: Exhaustion

The solution: Parties, shopping and late nights can take a toll on even the best sleeper, so keeping an eye toward bedtimes is crucial during the holiday season. Experts suggest limiting snacks and alcohol close to bedtime and trying to stick to a (semi) regular sleep schedule. Additionally, creating a cozy and relaxing sleep space can work wonders (aka: don’t wrap gifts in your bed) and keeping up a regular exercise routine is more important than ever.


The problem: Joint and muscle pain

The solution: Lifting and schlepping gifts is an unavoidable peril of the holiday season; one that can cause aches and pains that may not usually rear their heads during the year. To avoid causing lasting damage remember to distribute shopping bag weight between both arms as well as ask for help with heavier packages. For those cooking and baking, throwing an inexpensive rug under your feet for padding can make a world of difference. And when all else fails, a #treatyourself-style massage may be a necessary holiday gift to yourself.


The problem: Family Stress

The solution: For many, nothing can cause more holiday stress than a parade of family through a once-quiet space. To keep stress at bay (and preserve your own sanity), try changing it up. If old holiday traditions are causing you stress, try creating some new ones. Similarly, don’t take on the issues of others; focus on your own holiday experience. Finally, take a break. Get out for a run or just a quick solitary coffee or drop in on a holiday party for one hour rather than three. Taking care of your own mental health should be priority one.