Five ways to battle stress this holiday season - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Five ways to battle stress this holiday season

Posted: Updated:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The holiday season is in full swing, but getting wrapped up in the bows and presents can cause a lot of stress.
An expert with Norton Healthcare offers five tips on how the whole family can stay stress free this holiday season.
"Anxiety and depression can increase a lot during the holidays (and impact) your physical health (such as) your blood pressure and blood sugar," said Dr. Caitlin Bowman, an internal medicine and pediatric physician with Norton Medical Associates - Bullitt County.
As you prep that gift list that's a mile-long and that pile of cookies, here are five tips for the whole family to stay stress free this holiday season:
Number 1: Simplify your holidays. Dr. Bowman says before you even begin getting stressed ask yourself "Why do I do what I do? Why am I stressed?" Taking inventory of your life before you even begin holiday celebrations can help keep you sane.
"If it's decorating, maybe decorate less. If it's buying and spending a lot of money, maybe buy fewer gifts this year," said Dr. Bowman.
Number 2: Watch what you eat and drink. Overindulging is something we all do, but those extra calories can add up come January, so make healthy decisions now. That doesn't mean you can't have the sweets, just make smart choices. "Moderation (is key). So one cookie instead of five, and have a friend keep you accountable during the holidays," she said.
That leads to Number 3: While you're eating with care, stay active. During the cold winter months, it's easy to be sedentary. But Dr. Bowman says moving your body can be good for your stress levels and mood. "I encourage patients to exercise, whether that's going to the gym, or bundling up in layers and going for a walk outside," said Dr. Bowman.
Don't want to leave the house? Try looking up a workout routine on YouTube.
Number 4: Embrace others. Dr. Bowman says relationships can be very difficult during the holidays, especially with family. Trying to find common bonds, instead of focusing on things that divide us can help make that dinner table conversation more civil. "Try to focus on positive things about people, take an interest in them, focus on serving them instead of yourself," said Dr. Bowman.
Number 5: Adults aren't the only ones who can get stressed at this time of year. Dr. Bowman says kids can also get anxious. She suggests turning off gadgets to keep kids sane. Have a technology-free time to allow for creativity and conversations.
"It's so important for their development, whether they're babies or whether they're teenagers to sit with people in the same room and to play and talk through things," she said.
By focusing on people and not getting wrapped up in the bows and ribbon, Dr. Bowman says you can survive December and ring in the new year stress free. 
"The holidays will come and go, and so to try to enjoy them, rest and relax," she said.
Dr. Bowman says if your stress and emotions become too much to handle, don't be afraid to contact your doctor.
Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.