The holiday season is here – are you stressed yet?
This week I’m going to discuss how to deal with stress and other mental junk food that prevails during the holiday season.
There are two types of stress; good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress.) All stress, whether good or bad produces hormones, chemical messengers that cause physical changes in your body. Hormones are the body’s way of saying that something needs to change so that it can return to normal.
Humans are designed to constantly improve themselves and their environment. Eustress is the mechanism that gets this done. It is the positive force that pushes us to improve the quality of our lives.
Eustress is energizing, motivating and life-saving.
Eustress produces a hormone called adrenalin that sends our body the message, “this is not good enough, something must change.”
It gives us problem-solving ideas, enhances our performance and helps us achieve difficult goals. Eustress is the reason you were able to clean your house, complete Thanksgiving shopping and still put the turkey on by 4:00 AM.
Distress is the bad stress. It distracts from our performance and threatens our physical and mental health. If not put in check, distress can kill.
Distress is caused by:
- Negative goal-setting
- Focusing on what-if
We cannot eliminate all distress, but our stress-level is self-induced, thus we have the power to greatly reduce distress.
Here are some tips:
- Don’t try to be perfect – do what you can and enjoy the process.
- Know your limits – unload your calendar and don’t be afraid to say NO.
- Stay positive – focus on the results of your efforts. If the results won’t produce pleasure then remove the task from your to-do list.
- Send distress signals – ask for help from family and friends. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
- Eat healthy.
- Exercise – it produces another hormone called endorphins which lowers your blood pressure and helps you sleep.
- Give yourself a break – you deserve at least ½ hour per day to relax. Use this time to work on a hobby, listen to relaxing music (not Metal), soak in a warm bubble bath or just meditate.
If you have any stress relieving tips, leave a comment. I’d love to hear them.