Merry Stressmas

“We’re going to have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas this side of the nut house” ~Clark Griswold

This time of year is one of joy, festivity, happiness, reflection, family, anticipation, and stresssss!! If there is one thing that will adversely affect your overall health and well being it is stress.  Stress is the accumulation of external and internal triggers.  Triggers such as fulfilling an obligation laden schedule of Christmas parties, events, gatherings, family traditions, kids’ recitals etc.  Triggers such as finding and purchasing the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Triggers such as making sure everyone in the circle of friends, colleagues, business associates, customers, clients, and anyone else is acknowledged and appreciated.  Triggers such as traveling on overcrowded roads or in busy airports. Triggers such as unraveling the ball of Christmas lights that are twisted up tighter than a Texas tornado. This time of year is wonderful but it sure can cause a lot of turmoil, tension, and tumult on our minds and bodies.

When tension builds and stress reaches a boiling point there are some internal events that occur:

  1. Cortisol levels increase rapidly. Chronic elevated cortisol levels leads to:
    1. Loss of sleep
    2. Fat accumulation
    3. Exhaustion
    4. Bone density loss
  2. Immunity system is weakened
    1. Susceptible to viruses and bacteria
    2. Energy levels are depleted

How do we combat the Stressmas season?  Here are some tips:

  1. Remind yourself that your mental and physical health should not take a backseat so that everyone else can be happy.
  2. Get plenty of rest.
  3. Try to avoid the Christmas cookies, peppermint fudge and Aunt Fran’s famous fruitcake.
  4. Focus on enjoying the time with loved ones and celebrating the reason for the season.
  5. Get ready for the New Year with by setting a plan of action to ensure your health and well being is a top priority which includes assisted stretching, body work, fitness goals, good nutrition, sound sleep.


Here are 2 good links for further reading