At this time of year, people often find themselves trying to keep up with shopping, decorating, cooking, kids’ school events, work functions and other celebratory gatherings. With so much going on, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are ideas for cutting holiday stress.
Strive to get more sunlight during the day and/or use a phototherapy (light) If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Seek more social contact during this time of year. Counseling, medications and support groups also make a positive difference.
Isolation can be a problem for people suffering with depression. If you don’t have plans with others, find public celebrations or volunteer opportunities where you can serve those less fortunate.
Access MoodCalmer—a self-guided, confidential online program that helps you understand the symptoms of depression, challenge negative thoughts, feel better, and manage relapses. Sign in at MagellanHealth.com/member to learn more.
If stress has plagued you during past holidays, develop a strategy for keeping yourself balanced and healthy this year. Here are ideas for incorporating relaxation into your holidays.
Track your eating and fitness
Amidst the holiday treats, strive to track your food intake and activity levels. You’ll be more aware of accumulating calories. After a holiday meal, don’t slouch into the couch; take a walk or do a workout. If you’re tech-oriented, download a new fitness app to track your activity over the holidays.
Take your time
Make a conscious effort to pace yourself when eating and enjoying the many holiday flavors. Chewing your food more slowly allows the "hungry-full" response from your brain to tell you that you’re sated—which takes approximately 20 minutes. If you eat too quickly, you’ll likely eat too much.
Beware the beverages
Avoid drinking alcohol prior to the big meal. This can lower your controls, leading to overeating and drinking. Also, even though your favorite holiday adult beverage doesn’t have a nutrition label, it’s probably quite calorie-laden. Limit yourself to one or two drinks, and alternate with drinks of water to stay balanced.