Five Ways to Help your Body Recover from Stress this Holiday Season
With the holiday season well under way, you probably feel like you couldn’t squeeze one more thing into your day. The truth is, we’re all running at max capacity, and our bodies are suffering for it.
Stress can cause many problems throughout our bodies including our cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Plus, that muscle tension you’re feeling in your shoulders and neck are usually a result of stress.
What You Can Do to Alleviate Stress
No one wants to feel stressed, but sometimes we find ourselves stressed out, anyways. It’s important to break the cycle of stress before our bodies suffer.
“You don’t want to wait until your body starts breaking down from the stress,” says Dr. Anna Flynn, chiropractor at our Botetourt office. “When your body starts to break down, you end up in a ‘healthcare crisis,’ which is absolutely the worst time to start prioritizing your health.”
So DREAM of a healthier mind and body with these tips:
D: Diet. Try whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, good clean water. Also be sure you’re not adding chemical stress to your life by consuming things that your body has a hard time processing, whether that be dairy, gluten, or other food sensitivities.
R: Rest. We need between 7-9 hours of sleep each time, but most people aren’t getting that. The truth is that if you’re not sleeping, you’re not allowing your body to recover from the stress of each day.
E: Exercise. Exercise is a huge stress reliever. We should aim for three to five 20-30 minute workouts every week. It doesn’t have to be intense either! Even walking counts. If you’re short on time, HIT (High-Intensity Interval) training is a great exercise that gets right to the point.
A: Alignment and posture. Posture is something that falls by the wayside in many people’s minds, but it’s so important. Most Americans have anterior head carriage from working on a computer or looking at a phone. Make sure that you stand tall with your shoulders back. The center of your ears should line up with your shoulders, which should line up with your hips to the knees to the outside of the ankles. Chiropractors are experts in alignment and posture, so make sure to see a chiropractor if you want to work on how you sit and stand.
M: Mindfulness. Oftentimes stress starts in your mind. If your mind is racing from all of the things you have to do, your body will suffer from stress. Slow your mind down through a simple breathing exercise. Think about the sequence 4-7-8. Inhale for a count of 4 through your nose; hold it in for a count of 7; and exhale for a count of 8 through your mouth. This simple breathing exercise will help you when you’re feeling stressed and can also lower your blood pressure and heart rate, reversing some of the physical signs of stress.
Start feeling better by giving these techniques a try. If you want to jumpstart your results, see a chiropractor at Tuck Clinic for relief from some of these physical effects of stress. And don’t worry if it takes a few weeks to see results in your stress levels. Over time, your body will thank you for it.
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