While the holiday season can be exciting and filled with fun events, we all know that it also puts extra stress on the body. The extra time spent with family, along with the added pressure of buying gifts, can bring on unnecessary stress that continues for several weeks. Most people view stress around this time of year as normal, but did you know that worrying too much can make you more susceptible to sickness? According to the American Psychological Association, continuous stress will reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and infections.

Stress, in general, is hard to pinpoint because what may cause stress for one person might not cause stress for another. The kind of stress that leads to sickness is typically on-going stress, not short-term. Family and friends are taxing for many, as managing relationships can be hard, which is why the holidays can be so chaotic.

Here are some of the best ways we have discovered help bring down your stress, so you can fully enjoy the holiday season!

Keep Exercising

While it might be tough to motivate yourself, especially with the colder weather, exercising is a great way to get rid of stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise acts as a stress reliever, which elevates endorphin levels and boosts immunity.

If you’re not keen on exercising, don’t make it more difficult on yourself by choosing an activity you hate. Pick an exercise that suits you and your family members.  Go for an extra-long walk with your dog, find a local yoga studio and take a weekly class, start jogging before your work day. Exercising for at least a half-hour three days a week will help alleviate stress and make you happier.

Get Enough sleep

This may seem too simplistic, but sleep is essential to a healthy immune system. It’s easy to give up sleep when your schedule and to-do list are packed, but rest is even more important to your health during chaotic seasons. The choice to get more sleep will ultimately help your body handle holiday stress better. You might not completely eliminate it, but sleeping a good amount can help you deal with stress in a healthier way.

You can prioritize sleep by creating routines before bedtime for yourself that are calming. Do some stretching or drink chamomile tea; give your body a chance to relax and unwind from a busy day.

Eat Well

It can be tempting to fill your diet with delicious cakes, candies, and cookies at holiday parties and gatherings, but your body still needs nourishment and nutrients. There is nothing wrong with celebrating and eating amazing food, but when you consume extra added sugar, it can take a toll on your body.  High intake of sugar can cause more stress on your body, so take steps to ensure that you stay healthy.

Buy more frozen or fresh greens when you’re at the store next time or head to the local apple orchard and stock up on some delicious apples. It might be difficult to incorporate healthier options into a busy schedule, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Refresh Yourself

Take a breather! Your body might need some extra care during this season, so carve out 15 minutes to hour to relax and unwind. You can take a long bath, watch your favorite movie, pick up that novel you haven’t finished yet. Just make sure you make time to give yourself a break.

Our goal at Velocity Urgent Care is to help our patients, and alleviating stress will ultimately lead to a healthier patient!  We offer convenient, timely care for patients. Velocity Urgent Care provides walk-in, extended hours’ service for most minor medical conditions in the Hampton Roads area, including Carrolton, Gloucester, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg. Most insurance plans are accepted, and no appointment is ever needed. Reserve your spot online today!