While the holidays are meant to be a time of happiness and celebration, they can also be a source of great stress. From an endless string of holiday commitments to family tensions to financial stress, there are many ways the holidays can prove anything but relaxing. While we can’t always avoid stress, our Morristown cardiologist’s office sees many patients where stress has taken a toll on their hearts.
Stress is associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are key contributors to heart disease. In the interest of protecting your heart health (and sanity) this holiday season, take our tips to avoid holiday stress.
• Limit your “yes” responses.
Over-committing yourself during a holiday season can lead to fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed. To prevent this from occurring, remember it’s okay to say no. You may wish to look at your calendar and identify days where you cannot feasibly commit to another event or project. By limiting your commitments, you are able to actually enjoy holiday gatherings instead of anticipating the next.
• Let there be light.
When New Jersey’s cold winter temperatures drive us indoors, we can miss out on sunlight. A lack of sunlight is associated with seasonal affective disorder or SAD, a condition that can lead to stress and fatigue. To prevent this from happening, open the blinds and let the sunshine in on a particularly sunny day or bundle up and take a short walk outside. Even a few minutes of sunshine can help lift your spirits.
• Set a budget (and don’t stray from it).
Knowing your financial limits during the holiday season can keep your wallet healthier. Set a realistic budget and find ways to maintain it, even if it means getting creative. Remember the holidays are about giving out of love and care for others. Your friends and family will understand your budgetary limitations.
• Take care of yourself.
By committing to eat a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest, you can feel better throughout the holiday season. Fitting in even 20 minutes of exercise each day can also help to release stress and tension (plus it will help you sleep better).
On behalf of Cardiology Associates of Morristown, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season. For more information on how stress affects your heart or to make an appointment at Cardiology Associates of Morristown, please call (973) 889-9001.