Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: ‘Tis the Season to Take Care of Your Health

‘Tis the Season to Take Care of Your Health

Global Content Strategist

The major holidays fall during the cold months of the year. We get shorter days. It is cold. There is less daylight. Some people may experience tiredness, sadness, or seasonal affective disorder. Others love the winter and cannot get enough of it.

Regardless of whether we can't wait for spring or we're snow lovers, many people experience a certain level of stress as we physically and mentally adjust to the changing weather and as we prepare for and celebrate the holidays. The stress of our workdays mixes with the stress of gift searching. The stress of spending time with certain family members mixes with our worry of gaining weight from all of the holiday treats.

Stress can be defined as the brain's response to any demand. Although we are mostly equipped to deal with daily life obstacles, when stress becomes "us" and we are in a state of emergency mode for too long, it may harm us. And this can indeed happen during the holidays.

Let's take a look at some of the areas in which stress may affect our health.

Heart health- Stress can be linked to increased heart rate and blood flow. When stress is constant, it may increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.

Headaches- Stress is the most common headache trigger. Your whole body reacts to a headache. You may grind your teeth or stiffen your shoulders and back in response to stress. And having a headache may increase your stress level, so it can be a cycle that continuously feeds itself.

Gastrointestinal problems- Our excitement of munching on holiday meals may be halted by stress, as it is a common factor in gastrointestinal conditions (such as heart burn or irritable bowel syndrome).

But before you get too stressed out about being stressed out, take a deep breath and know that there is a variety of resources to help you navigate the holidays (and really any other time of the year). Online resources provide tips on quick stress relief (for example, you can listen to a favorite piece of music or play with a pet) as well as long-term strategies on making your life balanced.

Enjoy the holidays, but keep an eye on your stress level. It will be good for you.

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The Healthy(ist) blog is a platform to share, learn about, and debate topics related to public and social health, scientific research, health communications, and behavior change.
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