Holiday stress is a real thing. The truth is your work schedule doesn’t slow down just because the holidays are coming, and there are far more activities to do. If you have kids, you’re going to be involved with holiday planning, in addition to all the regular things you have to do. The stress of the additional work can cause you to make poor choices just to get a meal in.
Holiday stress can affect your weight and overall health in the following ways:
- Slows Down Your Digestion – When you are hurried and stressed out, your digestion is affected and will slow down. So, if you can’t rest and relax, your digestion will take a hit. But if you take your time, even if you have to eliminate some activities, you’ll be healthier overall.
- Increases Inflammation – The stress hormone cortisol is released during stressful times. This causes additional belly fat to accumulate even if you aren’t eating more. Focus on finding ways to reduce stress, such as reducing activities, asking others to pitch in. Then ensure you mostly eat right, stay hydrated, and sleep well at night.
- High Blood Pressure – All the pressure to do everything can lead some people to develop high blood pressure. If you have any type of high blood pressure, you should avoid highly salted and fatty meals completely. Thankfully, today there are numerous choices that you will probably enjoy better anyway.
- Lowers Your Willpower – When you’re under stress, it’s natural to want to feel better. So, it’s not exaggerating to tell you that food can be used as a drug to numb your emotions.
- Lowers Your Metabolism – When you are stressed out, your body tries to reserve its energy by lowering your metabolism. If you are feeling extra tired when you have so much to do, this is the reason. Your body needs the right daily nutrition, but it also needs enough sleep to function and avoid the chemical overload the brain sends out to try to help.
The thing is, the people in the family most likely to suffer from additional holiday stress are the ones who do the extra duties required during the holidays. Usually, that’s mom or grandma.
If you aren’t tasked with the responsibilities, keep that in mind and try to find a way to help out. If the holiday is on you to plan, start asking for help early as possible. You can’t and should not do it all alone.
If you’re feeling the pressure and would like some support as we head into the festive season, please contact me here.
You may also be interested in my book ‘Burnout Recovery for Moms: The Art and Science of Overcoming Overwhelm And Preventing Burnout At Will‘, which could make a wonderful Christmas gift either for you or a loved one.