The holiday season seemed to just spring upon us this year (as it tends to do every other year!) and as the days go by, it may seem like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything you need to, to get ready for the holidays. This overwhelming to-do list can cause of lot of stress on your body and your emotions, which can make you more susceptible to other illnesses.
Acupuncture is not just about pain relief; it can also be used to treat a number of other conditions, such as stress and anxiety. The application of traditional chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, reduces levels of a certain protein – neuropeptide Y (NPY) – which is linked to chronic stress. But there are a number of other ways that you can reduce stress this holiday season, even without medical treatment. Check out our list of 5 easy ways to lower your stress over the holidays, and stay healthy.
1. Get a Breath of Fresh Air
The cold weather may make you want to stay inside over the winter, but fresh air can actually do wonders to relieve stress and refresh your mind and body. Try to take a few minutes out of your day for a brisk walk around the block to appreciate nature and the world around you, and you’ll feel the difference.
2. Reach for Water Instead of Alcohol
We all know how easy it is to over-indulge over the holidays, especially with all of the social events and parties going on, but too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and even depression. Reaching for a glass of water when you wake up each morning, and drinking it slowly while deep-breathing will help to keep you hydrated and start your morning off in a relaxed and stress-free way.
3. Look for Balance
Acupuncture is all about balance, and this should apply in your every day life as well. If you have a social and busy holiday party to attend one night, make sure you set aside time the day after for quiet and relaxation. If you are busy with a number of tasks, ask for help; if you have some spare time, offer your help to someone else who needs it. If you indulge in food and drink one day, perhaps spend the next day choosing lighter, healthier options.
Exercising is the easiest way to release endorphins, which interact with receptors in your brain to reduce stress and invoke positive feelings of energy and euphoria. Heading to a yoga or spin class may be the last thing you feel like doing after eating a big meal or spending a day shopping, but you’ll instantly feel better a few minutes into your workout, and you’ll have a much more energized outlook on the day afterwards.
5. Dance & Laugh
Research shows that listening to music can help to lower blood pressure and anxiety, and a good ol’ laugh can help to lower cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone. Download some relaxing or enjoyable tunes, watch a funny movie, read a funny book, or get together with your closest friends; even 30 minutes of dancing or laughing can do wonders for clearing your mind of tasks that may be causing you stress.
Of course, it’s also easy to book an appointment with one of our practitioners to have an acupuncture treatment scheduled; our diagnosis and needling procedures will help to get your energy flowing again, reliving your stress or anxiety in the process.
From all of us at S.I.T. Acupuncture, we wish you the happiest of holidays, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!