The holidays can be a fun time. There are visits and parties with family and friends. There is gift giving and gift receiving. There is amazing food, entertainment and more.
The holidays can also be a very stressful time. There are visits and parties with family and friends. There is gift giving and gift receiving. There is amazing food, entertainment and more.
How do you manage the stress that inevitably comes with the holidays?
When was the last time you exercised?
Did you know that exercise is one of the very best forms of stress relief?
"Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries." Mayo Clinic
For me, exercise is essential.
I have severe anxiety that is mainly managed by exercise. The heavy cardio 3 times a week makes me sweat bullets, which keeps me from sweating bullets in social situations for virtually no reason.
The yoga 3 times a week stretches out my muscles, helps me practice focusing my mind, and helps me with breathing techniques that work really well in stressful situations.
When the months are cold and dark, I find that exercise is even more vital for my mental health.
"The physical benefits of exercise — improving physical condition and fighting disease — have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active.
Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Or, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress." ADAA
So, get moving. Your body AND your mind will thank you for it.