Surviving Holiday Stress: The Power to Choose in Five Easy Steps
By Dr. Pete Sulack
Stress expert, writer and speaker, Dr. Pete Sulack is the founder of Exodus Chiropractic and Unhealthy Anonymous – a wellness support program that provides tools for healthier living.
Choose not to host the holidays.
- Give yourself permission to take a pass this year, even if you’ve always done it…especially if you’ve always done it. Instead, consider helping with smaller tasks – offer to help clean up or even host next year when there is time to plan and prioritize.
- Tell your family that in order to take care of yourself and live longer to serve them, you must keep the stress to a minimum in your life.
- Don’t feel guilty if you choose this option, and don’t make excuses. You are worth it!
Choose to delegate.
- Oftentimes it is easier to do things ourselves than to watch someone else muddle through them – but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your general sanity and health.
- Delegating requires letting go of control a bit. While it might be uncomfortable for some, it must be done if others are to step up. If the turkey isn’t Hallmark-holiday-perfect or the tree isn’t decorated the way you would do it, who cares? Everyone will live, and the earth will go on spinning. Take a deep breath, and let it go.
Choose to sit at the “kids’ table.”
- This sounds silly, but actually it works. Kids are much less judgmental about what you are eating, how slowly you eat, or if you are eating at all. They don’t care – people don’t become “food pushers” until later in life.
- Chances are you will never get into an argument about politics, religion, or old family history at the kids’ table. You may have to learn more about “Power Rangers Megaforce” than you wanted, but it will give you a chance to enjoy a lighter, more carefree side of the holidays.
- No one will be drinking alcohol at the kids’ table, so there is a good chance the conversation will remain civilized. Enough said.
Choose to remove yourself from dangerous situations.
- If you are going to someone’s home for the holidays, consider staying in a nearby hotel (if you can afford it) so that you have somewhere to retreat if the situation gets stressful. You’ll also be able to stock the mini-fridge with safe, health snacks and foods.
- Most hotels have workout facilities so you can start or end your day with a few minutes of aerobic exercise. If they have a pool or hot tub? Even better.
- Take your own car, even if it means more money in gas. That way you can volunteer to make those last minute trips to the store that get you out of the house – and allow you quiet time to breathe, relax, and regain your mindfulness. Use that time to think about how you will handle potential challenges and conflicts when you return.
Choose to initiate activity.
- Take a walk after a big meal, and invite others to join you. Everyone will benefit from the fresh air and exercise.
- Instead of being glued to the couch watching television, choose to grab the kids and shoot a few hoops or initiate a game of hide-and-seek. Even breaking out a board game will usually bring the young-at-heart to the table and away from the couch.
- Offer to walk the dog. It gets you some fresh air and exercise, as well as time alone to get centered and remain focused on your goal of getting through the holidays in a healthier, happier manner.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know how much I love my fitbit. I’m a bit addicted! A lot of you have indicated that you didn’t want to wear a device on your arm or on your clothing, or you couldn’t afford one. Now I have a solution for you and I might be a bit addicted to it as well!
Check out the MotionX 24/7 mobile app.
Life-tracking app MotionX 24/7 today announces the version 10 update of its medical grade sleep and activity monitoring iOS app. The update includes Sleep Score and Move Score features derived from a series of advanced algorithms and patented technologies that monitor and track round-the-clock activity. The app also offers daily coaching tips to help you in set appropriate and achievable health goals.Learn more about MotionX 24/7 and download here: http://24-7.motionx.com/
The 24/7 Sleep Score is generated using data from a series of user input variables ranging from total time spent sleeping to the ratio of deep sleep to light sleep, and the number of sleep cycles and wake events experienced throughout the night. The Move Score is generated using data such as total active time versus total idle time, intensity of activity and how often a user is active throughout the day. Both scores take into account a user’s biological data such as age, sex, weight and height and compares it to the appropriate demographic standard for sleep and activity compiled from millions of days of activity and nights of sleep tracked and analyzed. The app also leverages advanced machine learning to provide even more accurate and relevant personalized sleep and move scores.
24/7 also boasts a noise detecting feature that automatically activates the microphone and records all sounds made while sleeping, making it possible for users to monitor their sleep talking, snoring or apnea habits. Users can take advantage of the app’s sleep cycle alarm clock, which wakes users at the optimum time in their sleep cycle to help you wake up refreshed. 24/7 also measures and correlates resting heart rate to sleep quantity and quality by using the iPhone camera to detect pulse from a fingertip.
24/7 will monitor users’ daily movement and activity with personalized “Get Active” alerts and personal goals used to encourage frequent activity breaks. Users simply carry their iPhone in their purses or pockets as usual and 24/7 accurately tracks steps taken and calories burned throughout the day.
“The increasing consumer desire to know more about their everyday health has allowed us to leverage our expertise in the biomechanics of natural human motion and sleep optimization, enabling us to offer iPhone users a fully comprehensive life-tracking solution,” said Mark McCormick, Vice President of Business Development at Fullpower, developer of 24/7. “The integration of the Sleep and Move scores allow us to provide our users with understandable metrics they can use to improve their health and ultimately their quality of life.”
24/7 encapsulates seven years of rigorous research and development in the biomechanics of human motion and sleep and aims to improve overall health in a natural and non-invasive manner.
24/7 features the following:
· Personalized Sleep and Move Scores
· Custom coaching tips and suggestions based on sleep and daily activity metrics
· Monitor and analyze sleep cycles
· Advanced and accurate sleep cycle alarm clock for optimum wake-up times
· Audio recording that captures snoring or other background noises during sleep
· Resting heart rate monitor that correlates heart rate with sleep quality
· Smart alarms programmed for optimal length power naps
· Visual breakdown of time spent awake, in deep sleep, light sleep and total sleep
· Fingertip pulse detection using the iPhone camera
· Advanced automatic Get Active alerts
· Step and activity recorder with optional live voice coach
Pricing and Availability
24/7 is the #1 top paid Medical app available for $0.99 in the iTunes App Store here: http://goo.gl/6LQj3l
All you have to do is set the app for either steps or sleep or whatever you are going to monitor. It is recommended for the sleep mode to place your phone under the fitted sheet before you go to sleep.
If you decide to try it out, let me know what you think! I find it interesting to have my sleep data at my fingertips!
A few weeks ago I was looking at my makeup table and it was so cluttered I was embarrassed. It had all kinds of things on it, perfume, jewelry, (lots of bracelets and my fitbit jewelry) and my makeup mirror, my basket with my hair dryer and brushes. Yet, I couldn’t find a thing without moving everything around and I decided I needed some organization. So, of course I turned to pinterest for some great ideas…..
I found the cutest jewelry organizer and I decided that I knew someone who could make this for me…. Brian! He’s pretty handy to have around and he looked at it and said, sure, he could do it. But, he decided I needed to be more involved than just the idea gal! WHAT?
So I got busy finding the right background paper ( I used scrapbook pages), he made me go to Lowe’s to get all the “ingredients” ( I am a baker, not a handy-woman). I picked out drawer pulls, the right chicken wire and of course, hooks and the tension rods.
I had all the stuff to make it happen and then I sat on it for a week or so….. Was he really going to make me do it myself???? Then I better just wait a bit, I might make a mistake or really screw this up!
So I very politely asked Brian this weekend if he would “help” me. He did ask if I really wanted help or if I just wanted him to do it……. of course I said I wanted him to do it!! But, I helped and we were able to get it done in just a few hours.
I absolutely love it! It turned out great and I’m very thankful to my dear friend that let us have her barn wood!
I might be a bit bracelet obsessed! I’ve even been making my own. This is HUGE for this non-crafty girl!!
I think it is a pinterest WIN! The first picture is the one on pinterest, the second one, our version! Go Brian!