PhotoAdults young and old know the holiday season presents an exhausting array of physical and emotional demands that, for many, can bring about lingering stress and anxiety. 

To cope with stress during the holiday season, a large number of pet owners say they turn to their petfor comfort, but even this may not be sufficient for getting rid of persistent worries.

If you’re still dealing with holiday-related stress and anxiety into the new year, it’s important to take steps to de-stress. Reducing stress after the holidays can help ensure your mind and body are in the right state to stay healthy and cultivate good habits for self care.

Impact on health

Stress can take a toll on a person’s overall health and well being and unfortunately can continue to snowball and worsen as the year goes on.

In an interview with ConsumerAffairs, Jonathan Jordan, personal trainer and wellness coach, explained that banishing stress requires a concerted effort.. 

“Work emergencies, family issues, financial commitments - STRESSES - just keep on coming,” he said. “So it’s important to start negating their physical effects on the body today.” 

Stress can inhibit the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and lead to pain, disease, and early aging, he explained. Symptoms of chronic stress include fatigue, depression, and physical effects such as accumulation of body fat and bone deterioration.

“Consumers are walking around under-slept like zombies and are beating the [expletive] out of their adrenal glands,” he added.

Tips for reducing stress

The holidays can bring up added stress in the areas of finances, time, travel, and family–and once the holidays are over, that stress may continue to grow under the weight of life’s everyday demands.

“Thanks to today's fast-paced, technology-centric world coupled with sedentary lifestyles, consumers are bombarded constantly with low and high levels of mental, physical, emotional and physiological stress,” Jordan said. 

Here are a few tips for shaking off the stress and anxiety you may have picked up during the holiday season: 

  • Meditate. Quieting the mind and relaxing the body is goal of meditation. Even as little as one minute of mediation can be beneficial, says Jordan. Here are some helpful tips for mediating.
  • Put down your devices. The blue light emitted from digital devices like iPhones, iPads, and laptop can impair your "fight or flight" mechanisms, says Jordan. For a more restorative night of sleep, avoid using devices two hours before going to bed.
  • Take walks. Sitting for long periods can lead to low energy, but getting up and walking around (even just for a few minutes) can help boost your energy and problem-solving levels. 
  • Get outside. Take 15 minutes during lunch to go outside and get some sun. Getting outside -- even on cloudy winter days -- has been shown to help combat seasonal depression
  • Get to bed early. Sleep deprivation can impact our body's de-stressing ability, memory compiling, and hormone cycling functions. Try to get to bed early -- no later than 10:00 PM. Even as little as ten minutes of extra sleep per day can be a boon to your health.

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