|by Susan Johnson,
It’s that time of year again when the hustle and bustle of the holiday
season makes many of us experience stress. Eustress is a term used to
describe a stressor that is considered to be a positive event, such as
a wedding or the holidays, but that also triggers the stress response.
Common symptoms related to stress include headaches, digestive
problems, trouble sleeping, and irritability, just to name a few. Here
are five tips for managing stress this holiday season.
Giving your body an outlet for the “fight or flight” stress response
helps reduce physical symptoms and the natural brain chemicals released
during physical activity may help reduce emotional symptoms such as
depression and anxiety.
2. Laugh. Not
only can laughter improve mood,
it can also reduce stress-related hormones like cortisol and improve
immunity by enhancing the levels of endorphins, neurotransmitters, and
antibody producing cells.
Bananas, nuts, avocados and
salmon—these stress-busting foods help to strengthen your immune
system, regulate stress hormones and lower blood pressure. Stay away
from too much alcohol, sugar, and processed foods.
4. Sleep. Caffeine
and alcohol consumption, over-scheduling and
over-thinking, and the stress hormone cortisol can lead to sleep
deprivation. Try relaxation techniques, regular bedtime rituals and
even power naps to recharge your batteries and have more energy for
5. Delegate. Try
not to take all of the holiday responsibilities on
yourself. Ask family members to bring side dishes, ask children to help
with wrapping and cleaning, hire help if needed, and above all, be OK
if things don’t go exactly as planned. Let us learn from the words of
Andy Rooney, “one of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess
created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too
By taking small steps to prevent and manage stress, this holiday season
can bring joy and leave you feeling fulfilled rather than drained. Now
relax and remember what is important this holiday season—friends,
family, faith and good health.
Health 1st events
- Chair massages: Free massages are offered to
employees on Tuesday nights and midday Wednesdays. Look for broadcast
messages for locations and times.
- MUSC employee fitness series: A free Pilates
class will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., Dec. 14 at the MUSC
Wellness Center. Participants will also receive a free one-day pass to
the Wellness Center. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
- Mobile mammograms: The Hollings Cancer Center
Mobile Van will be conducting mammograms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on
Dec. 14 in the Harborview Office Tower parking lot. Call 792-0878 to
schedule an appointment.
E-mail email@example.com to become involved in
employee wellness at MUSC. Events, classes or any other ideas are
- Farmers market December schedule: Thursday,
Dec. 9; Friday, Dec. 17; Wednesday, Dec. 22; and
Wednesday, Dec. 29.
Friday, Dec. 10,