Gratitude vs. Stress

5 Practical Steps to Manage Stress & Your Health During the Holidays

Functional medicine expert, Dr. Jill Carnahan, MD shares that having some stress in life is unavoidable, but there are positive, healthy strategies to help you manage it. And while there’s no such thing as a stress-free life, building habits that support you can go a long way in keeping your stress levels in check. Regularly practicing these techniques can prevent stressful times from interfering with your life. Even if you can’t rid yourself of the source of your stress, you can learn to manage it and prevent it from affecting your health. Dr. Kelly Turner shares that stress can keep the body in fight or flight mode, instead of rest and repair mode.
What can you do this holiday season to manage stress? How can you make this year different? Here are our favorite tips.
  1. Practice Gratitude  – It isn’t always possible to change your circumstances, but you can change where you focus your mind, heart, and soul. The words we speak can set the course for your future. Need a tool to help you? Our new Gratitude Journal will encourage you to speak God’s promises over your daily life, affirm his blessings, and help you to pray from a place of victory.
  2. Plan Ahead & Set Boundaries  – Be intentional with your time. Get adequate consistent sleep by setting an alarm on your phone for the same time each night to turn technology off and get ready for bed. Planning ahead by simply taking the time to write out a daily or weekly to-do list can work wonders for keeping stress at bay. “It’s ok to say “no”. You are not obligated to accept every invitation, request, or opportunity that comes your way. Especially if you know saying “yes” will make you anxious or doesn’t align with how you really want to be spending your time.”
  3. Learn New Ways to Relax  – We love the NEW One Minute Pause app or learn a new hobby like photography or painting.
  4. Make Time for Exercise  – Exercise not only decreases stress hormones but also boosts energy levels and the feel-good chemicals in the brain. You don’t have to join a gym. A short, brisk walk outside can do wonders for your mood. There are also several apps you can use at home to help keep you motivated like Sworkit, 7-min workout, or the Peleton app.
  5. Know What You Can (and Can’t) Control – For some people, the holidays can trigger stress and anxiety because of past experiences. Many have family members that can be difficult, leaving us with a lot of negative emotions. Set an intention to create a different way of navigating challenging relationships. Acknowledge the triggers and set an intention to approach that person with a positive outlook. Keep conversations light and don’t get drawn into their drama or debate. You don’t have control over what others say and how they act, but you DO have control over whether you allow others to affect your mood and stress level.
*Click here for more tips from Dr. Carnahan
** Photo by Nathan Dumlao @ Unsplash

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