STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Diffuse oils.

Smells have the power to influence the production of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that make us feel good. Lavender especially is said to have a calming, relaxing effect. Many clinical trials have been conducted that show inhaling lavender essential oil leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety. Diffusing lavender oil in your home or dabbing it on your temples can help restore your nervous system, releasing tension and working to develop inner peace.


You don’t know what kind of side effects medication will have on you. Implementing natural, healthy habits to your lifestyle, however, is guaranteed to do more good than harm. Over time, the peace in your body will outweigh the stress and you can enjoy life without so much worry.

While anxiety brews in your worrying mind, it has many undesirable affects on your body as well. Stomach aches, muscle pain, skin irritation, full-out panic attacks – you may feel these common symptoms are taking over your life and you want them gone. You’re ready to make an appointment with your doctor and get a prescription for something to take your stress away. But will a pill fix the problem forever?


Medication won’t get to the root cause of your anxiety. A pill won’t cure it for good and, with its own set of side effects, medication is not always the safest choice. If you want to prevent panic attacks, work at creating more peace in your life. You can naturally manage your anxiety by making a few changes to your lifestyle. While anxious feelings may not completely go away, implementing these healthy remedies can prevent anxiety from physically affecting you. Some might work for you right away while others will take time. The longer you strive to create peace in your mind and body, the better you’ll become at managing anxiety. Here are some techniques to try:


Practice breathing techniques.

Breathing practices can calm your body and reduce the likelihood of hyperventilation. In the busy world we live in, we often neglect giving ourselves time to connect with our breath. A trick for making this a habit is to pause at the top of every hour and take 10 long, deep breaths.

HOW TO BEAT ANXIETY WITHOUT MEDICATION

MICHELLE CHALKEY

Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

more articles by michelle chalkey

With your hand on your stomach, feel your belly as it inflates and deflates with each inhale and exhale. Listen to the sound of your breath. You may soon find yourself taking advantage of more opportunities to take time and breathe.


Eliminate caffeine and alcohol.

The idea of giving up coffee may be anxiety inducing in itself, but it’s worth it to see how closely it relates to your anxiety. Caffeine is a big culprit in feelings of anxiety; it increases stress hormones, reduces calming neurotransmitters, depletes nutrients and reduces blood flow to the brain. Both caffeine and alcohol have negative effects on your sleep, another crucial factor to maintaining a peaceful mind and body.


Stretch and move your body regularly.

Exercise is known to be one of the best anti-anxiety medicines. What’s good for your physical health is also great for your mental health. Exercise releases neurotransmitters that have an uplifting effect on your mood and also burns stress hormones. You don’t have to go all out every day. The important thing is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy and that brings you peace.