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Keep holiday stress off your list this year

Research has shown that holiday stress tends to impact women the most, but everyone is vulnerable to its effects.

Posted: Dec. 22, 2017 4:12 PM
Updated: Dec. 22, 2017 4:12 PM

The holidays are a fun-filled, but often stress-filled time for many people.

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Research has shown that holiday stress tends to impact women the most, but everyone is vulnerable to its effects.

According to Cleveland Clinic wellness expert Michael Roizen, M.D., one of the best ways to stop stress in its tracks is to carve out time for ourselves.

"Schedule time for yourself around the holiday, even if it's one day a week or one afternoon," said Dr. Roizen. "Say, 'I'm going to watch the game on TV or I'm going to do something that I want to do,' and that will help bring you stress relief."

During the holidays, stress can feel even heavier than it does during the rest of the year.

Previous research has even shown that there is an increase in heart attacks in the U.S. during the holiday season.

Dr. Roizen said often times, many of us feel a duty to make the holidays the best that we can for our families and pressures both on our time, and on our wallet, can feel overwhelming.

He said it helps to take time to reflect on why we do all of this running around. Instead of focusing on the hustle and bustle, Dr. Roizen said it's important to remember why we're doing it and why it brings us joy.

And the holiday season makes it easy for us to get out of our normal wellness habits, which can make us feel even more exhausted and stressed.

Dr. Roizen recommends sticking to a normal routine during the holidays as much as possible.

"Whether it is meditation, guided imagery, yoga, exercise, or just a walk with your spouse or a friend - you should keep doing those things that bring you joy and help you manage stress," said Dr. Roizen.

Dr. Roizen said it's also vital that we schedule sleep and make it a priority. He says that by refreshing the brain and body, we will be better equipped to deal with any stress that the holidays may bring.

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