Nov 2017 Nurse’s Note

Holiday Health Tips

Its November! This time of year is exciting and fun but it can also bring a lot of STRESS! Holiday stress can drain your body’s natural resiliency and harm your health!

How does increased stress effect you? Your body might develop these symptoms: headaches, infections, muscle tension, fatigue, skin irritations and even breathlessness. Your mind can be overloaded and you could experience: worry, irritability, muddled thinking and concentration problems, indecision or hasty decision-making. Your emotions can be effected too: apprehension, anxiousness, irritability or depression can haunt you. Even your behavior might change and you could experience restlessness, sleeplessness, over eating or under eating with increased smoking, drinking or even substance abuse.

What can improve your holiday experience?

  1. Develop a scheduled holiday exercise program, not a marathon activity, but a regular program of activity. Moderate exercise decreases stress and promotes relaxation. How about a walk at the end of your day before bed?
  2. Pay special attention to your nutrition. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Enjoy holiday treats and meals but try moderation and limit splurging to one meal, don’t make holiday feasting last eight weeks! Eating normal meals prior to a holiday event will help limit your urge to over eat! If you find there is little time for healthy eating, stop and feed your body a few healthy snacks!
  3. Find Holiday activities that improve your spirits, like going to church socials, visiting sick or homebound. Special holiday prayer and singing can lift your spirit! Limit gifting activities and spend more time expressing love to special people. Try mindful enjoyment of holiday activities and slow down. Look at all the activities available to you and your family, and pick a few that you want to do and make a schedule!
  4. Say no if you are feeling overwhelmed. Get more sleep when you need it, pay attention to colds and viruses. Continue careful attention to chronic illnesses and don’t neglect normal treatment plans. Increase rest and fluids, follow up with a MD before things get out of control.
  5. If you have experienced a loss in the past, remember holiday stress could be intensified! Share your memories with a helpful friend or seek counseling. I have several free grief programs that might help.

Happy Holidays 2017 and remember I’m here to help when needed.

Pat Woerheide, RN