Tips to Tame Holiday Stress

The holidays are right around the corner. And although they can include fun times with family and friends, they can also be stressful.

“Stress can not only wear at your happiness and ability to enjoy the season, it can also negatively affect your overall health,” says Melissa Chappell, M.D., internist and psychiatrist at Little Company of Mary Hospital. “Stress can increase heart rate and blood pressure, interfere with sleep and even make it more difficult to lose weight.”

In addition, if you deal with stress in unhealthy ways, such as eating or drinking too much, your
health will suffer.

Here are three healthy ways to combat stress this holiday:

  1. Ask for help. “Women especially feel like they have to do it all. Avoid carrying that burden,” advises Dr. Chappell.
  2. Be kind to yourself. Make your health and well-being a priority. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. Exercise alone has been shown to improve mood and reduce blood pressure.
  3. Seek relaxation. Ease tension with proven tactics such as listening to music, stretching or getting a massage.

“In addition, pay attention to your stress patterns,” says Dr. Chappell. “If your holiday blues don’t go away, or if you repeatedly feel overwhelmed or stressed, talk with your doctor.”

Take Dr. Chappell’s advice to heart and relieve your stress with a massage, just $35 for a half-hour session. Indicate your interest online, or call 708-423-5774 to schedule an appointment. Or dance to your heart’s content with light aerobics. For a light aerobics schedule at our hospital or Chicago Ridge location, call 708-423-5774.

Melissa Chappell, M.D. 708-422-5090 Dr. Chappell is a board certified internist and psychiatrist. She received her medical degree from Louisiana State University and completed her combined internal medicine/psychiatry residency at Rush University Medical Center.

Information from Regarding Health Winter 2011 issue.

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