Holiday Survival Tips: How to Avoid STRESSmas Time

The holiday season is often the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” We add even more to our “to-do list,” we are in stressful work and family situations, and we are continually tempted with sugar-laden goodies. The holidays become  “STRESSmas time.”

Sleep often becomes compromised. Either you intentionally don’t go to bed when you should, or you have so much happening in your life that it is hard to shut your brain off and fall asleep.

If you or your children are experiencing any of the following, pay attention! This is the “crash and burn” list. The list below are my holiday survival tips. This is your way to stay on the feel “nice” list and off the “naughty” list.

  • Increased appetite. Sugar and/or salty food cravings are very common. It may be difficult to feel satisfied and you have the desire to always want to snack.
  • Increased anxiety. Irritability, crankiness, and uncooperative behavior from both adults and children are very common. Irrational behavior, aggressive behavior toward parents, siblings and friends, misbehaving in school, and short attention span are also very common.
  • Difficulty waking up. You need an alarm to wake up and you hit snooze multiple times!
  • Get a “second wind” in the evening. You may have a hard time falling asleep or not want to go to bed at all.
  • Irregular and/or painful menstrual cycle.
  • Unwanted expanded waistline. You need stretchy pants to feel comfortable.
  • Ignoring food allergies. You start to negotiate with them by convincing yourself that “just one bite” won’t hurt you….but physiologically it really does.

These may be signs of chronically elevated cortisol.

Cortisol is produced naturally by your adrenal glands, but can become out of balance with poor lifestyle choices.

Dr. George Goodheart, an amazing chiropractor, observed additional issues in someone with chronic stress: pain in the upper neck and/or pain in the lower back. 

It is a common finding for those doctors who are trained to look for it. This pain is not caused by trauma, disc problems or other “pathology.” It is actually from the effects of the hormone response to this chronic stress.

Practitioners who are trained in Applied Kinesiology discover what I call “ligament laxity.” Over time, the body begins to struggle with holding all of the joints snug in their proper place.

Have you ever had a cortisone injection for pain or inflammation? You’re told that you can’t get them very often because it will break down your body. Well, cortisone is the synthetic version of cortisol and your body may be pumping out too much of it!

Image of chemistry to illustrate cortisone and holiday survival tips.

This is the exact opposite of healing the body. So when we are not consistently living a healthy lifestyle, you may be accelerating the breakdown of your own body by making too much of your own cortisol.  This can lead to pain that may not be relieved with typical treatments.

The good news is with some changes, you can quickly get back on the road to vibrancy.

Here are my holiday survival tips that are good all year round, but vital if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above. 

  1. Get 8 hours of sleep. If you get your second wind past 11:00 pm, try to get to bed by 10:30 pm to avoid the temptation to stay up too late.
  2. Eat 3 meals a day with a healthy protein source in every meal. This will help stabilize your blood sugar, reduce cravings during the day, and give you some home grown energy too.
  3. If you want to salt your food, do it! Oftentimes we need more sodium in our diet. Just be sure that you are using sea salt so you also get those minerals your body needs!
  4. Partake in relaxing activities. Massage, acupuncture, relaxing baths, etc. Give your brain time to rest and reboot!
  5. Get consistent chiropractic adjustments. This helps to reduce the stress that your brain has to filter when your body is “out of sorts.”

As someone who has experienced her share of stress, I can personally attest that doing all of the above (with some strategic use of supplements) is what has kept me going and thriving!

I don’t want you to be experiencing “STRESSmas,” so have a family meeting and support each other in making these healthy changes now!

When the New Year rolls around, you will already be working on the new, less stressful you (and your kids too!!).

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is for informational purposes only and has been compiled from years of practice, study and experience by Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. This information is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for the advice from your physician or any other health care provider, or any information contained in or on any product label or packaging. Do not use information in this email for diagnosing or treating any health problem or disease. Always speak to your health care provider before taking any nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement. If you have or suspect that you have a health problem, contact your health care provider immediately. Do not ignore seeking health care advice or delay seeking care because of something that you have read in this email. Information provided in this email DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Cover photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

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Dr. Mikell Parsons, D.C.