The holiday season…
Cold weather ✓
2013 coming to an end ✓
Deadlines approaching ✓
More family time ✓
More commitments ✓
Season of giving ✓
…as you know, the list keeps running. Most of our lives encompass some of these things right now. In my practice, I’m finding that there’s an increased level of stress and anxiety in people’s lives. Why does holiday stress happen?
Holiday Season and Stress
Research from the American Heart Association (2004) contends that this time of year there’s an increase in emotional stress about the holidays. Having to interact with family we may, or may not want to associate with, feeling the pressure of having to absorb financial pressures such as purchasing gifts, traveling, and/or entertaining. Also around this time of year, people are more likely to indulge in foods and beverages they may not usually consume. Consequently, if it interrupts normal healthy patterns, feelings of guilt or regret creep in.
5 tips for avoiding holiday stress:
- Pick and choose your holiday activities
- Ask for help
- Say no when necessary
- Everything in moderation
- Set realistic expectations for the season
Try to relax and lower your expectations from yourself and from your family. You may find yourself enjoying holidays more than you expected.
Kloner, R. (2004). The “Merry Christmas Coronary” and “Happy New Year Heart Attack” Phenomenon. American Heart Association. Retrieved from: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/110/25/3744.short
On occasion I see clients who share their struggles with: getting to sleep, staying asleep, or, getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a frustrating issue that can interfere with our everyday tasks and success in what we set for the day, week, future. Often, the problem was with their Sleep Hygiene. Have you ever heard of it?
What is Sleep Hygiene and Why It’s Important?
Sleep Hygiene, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says it is the act of controlling “all behavioral and environmental factors that precede sleep and may interfere with sleep.” Thus, it can sometimes slip out of our control. However, there are scientifically proven ways to get it back to track.
My colleagues at Precision Nutrition have written a great blog about good sleep habits, and I want to share it with you.
In case you haven’t heard, sleep is absolutely crucial to your health. With a few simple strategies, you can get the high-quality, restful sleep your body and your mind deserves.
Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise when it comes to improving your health, your performance, and your body. Something that can disrupt a healthy sleeping pattern could be overexposure to blue light from electronic devices. Perhaps wearing glasses like those of Felix Gray which filter out blue light and reduce screen glare can help mitigate negative effects on your health.
Good sleep helps us stay fresh, lean, strong, mentally focused, and healthy.
Bad sleep slathers on body fat, screws up hormones, ages us faster, increases chronic illnesses, and drains our IQ and mojo.
Fortunately, research also shows that returning to adequate sleep can quickly reduce these risks.
So why leave sleep to chance?
With the strategies outlined in today’s article, you can engineer high quality, restful nights on a regular basis.
They share tons of helpful tips and strategies to help you get some good night sleep and wake up refreshed and ready for the day. I recommend you to take a look.
—> Click here to learn more: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/hacking-sleep
Physical health is as important as mental health. Exercise makes our bodies stronger and healthier, but did you know that it does the same for our minds? It’s true!
Several studies have shown that people who are physically active perform better on cognitive tasks such as reasoning, memory, and vocabulary compared to not especially active individuals. Other studies show that exercise boosts mood and positive emotions after just about five minutes of performing it. What’s particularly amazing is the fact that, on a long-term, working out is a powerful tool for combating depression and anxiety.
But if exercise is so good for us, why is it so damn hard to do it?
Despite numerous benefits of physical activity, many people find incorporating working out into their daily lives incredibly hard. Have you ever caught yourself finding excuses not to hit the gym? Although you know how exercise is important for you, even if you know that you’ll feel great after it, laying on the couch is somehow hard to resist. Perhaps you say you don’t have time. Or you’re too tired. Or any other excuse you creatively came up with.
Experts say that making exercising a habit is hard for various reasons. One of them is that some people start too hard, with too high expectations regarding their performances, that they soon “burn out” and convince themselves it’s too difficult for them. Another reason is that they expected the change in their looks or performance too soon. Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and drop of motivation.
A Few Ways to Help You Excercise Daily
Although it’s difficult to make it a habit in the beginning, remind yourself why daily exercise is so good for your physical and mental health. Otto gives a great metaphor for it: “Failing to exercise when you feel bad is like explicitly not taking an aspirin when your head hurts.”
Try implementing a workout regime into your daily lives; set a SMART goal for a duration (how long) and frequency (how often) you’re going to work out per week.
Be sure to implement a tracking system to help monitor your progress. By tracking, you’re better able to see your progress and use it as positive encouragement! When you see your photos/number of reps/distance/anything else you set as your tracking system, after a couple of months, it’s a fantastic motivation to keep going! You’ll feel awesome!
Lululemon posts a great blog on why it’s important to sweat once a day: http://lululemon.com/community/blog/sweat-once-a-day-recap