5 tips to help you prevent the post-holiday blues
It is easy to get stressed around the holidays – even while having fun. However, remember the stress of the holidays can raise your cortisol levels and that could lead to weight gain, higher blood pressure, higher blood sugars, lower immunity and more depression – all things you want to try to keep in check for good health.
Rachel Brown, MD, shared these tips for preventing the post-holiday blues.
- Get moving. Even a little bit of physical activity releases serotonin, our happiness hormone. Try stretching when you are feeling particularly edgy.
- Laugh it off. Laughter reduces cortisol and releases serotonin. Find and enjoy that funny movie, favorite comedian or hysterical friend that really gets you laughing.
- Go to bed. Getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night will lower cortisol levels and build resilience to stress.
- Help out. Volunteering may seem like one more task to add to your to-do list, but studies show that helping others, even with small random acts of kindness, has the highest immediate impact on our well-being and resilience.
- Be mindful. Try pausing for a moment to examine your five senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel in that moment? This exercise immediately reduces your sense of stress. Add deep breathing for 60 seconds and you will lower your cortisol for three hours.
“The holidays shouldn’t be about stress. Remember to take good care of yourself before, during and after the holidays so you can keep being and feeling your best,” said Dr. Brown.