It’s official, we’re in full-on holiday season.  ‘Tis the season to indulge in time off, time
with family, and lots of delicious food.
 However, what some people think of as the happiest time of the year can end up
being quite the opposite through a phenomenon known simply as “holiday stress”.
A study
published by the American Psychological Association found that leading holiday
season stressors include a perceived lack of time, money, pressure of giving or
getting gifts, family gatherings, and an inability to stick to health goals.  More than 80% of people surveyed reported
feeling stressed and fatigued “often” during the holidays.

Additionally, in order to combat the stress, people tend
to turn to less-than-optimal coping mechanisms, eating more and moving less.
 We understandably think that indulging often
and relaxing our way through these stressful months will make them a little
easier to deal with.
 However, this leads
another source of stress: an
inability to stick to our current health goals!
 Consistency is king.  It isn’t our Thanksgiving and Christmas
dinners that make us gain those extra pounds we desperately want to shed come
January 1
st, it’s what we do all the other days surrounding these special occasions in the hopes of
being able to enjoy ourselves and relieve undue stress.
So, it seems like one thing just leads to another.  Is there no way to break the cycle?
As it turns out there is
a calorie-free alternative to relieving holiday stress: the concept of shifting
!  Shifting set is simply a
fancy term coined by psychologists to represent “updating or shifting cognitive
strategies to respond to the changes in our environment”.  In simpler terms, it’s the ability to be flexible and adaptable.

By adopting a more flexible and adaptable approach to the
holidays we can save ourselves a LOT of undue stress.
 Just think: instead of stressing out about not
getting as much time as you wanted off from work for that vacation, why not
adapt to the new timeframe and
channel that energy into reorganizing your itinerary and still going on a
fulfilling mini-vacation?
 Instead of
being upset that your workout schedule has been completely thrown off by
traveling and bad weather, be flexible…adapt…create a new workout schedule that
works with your current circumstances!
This holiday season, make sure to rely on flexibility and
adaptability (and maybe a relaxing massage)
to relieve stress so that you can actually
this time of year!
#therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #holidays, #stress,