While the festive season can be a great deal of fun, it can also be stressful. Stress is an extremely personal experience because what one person views as stressful may not remotely affect another person.
Reasons Why the Holidays May Cause Stress:
- Stressful family gatherings
- Stressful office gatherings
- Scheduling difficulties
- Coping with loneliness
- Lack of money for gifts or entertaining
- Stress over entertaining and catering
- Unwanted weight gain from holiday parties and treats
- Social pressure
Signs of Stress
Although the situations that cause us to stress are different, we normally feel stress in similar ways. When we experience stress, our sympathetic nervous system makes our heart rate and breathing increase, while adrenaline floods the bloodstream. Physiological changes include the release of epinephrine and an increase in cortisol production. This reaction causes the well-known ‘fight or flight’ response. You may also notice your breathing become shallower, your palms begin to sweat and your heart races.
Other signs and symptoms of stress:
• Sleep disturbances
• Increased appetite
• Diarrhea or acid reflux
• Susceptibility to colds and flu
• An increase in alcohol consumption
3 Ways to Reduce Stress
Physical exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as improve sleeping patterns. A 30-minute walk every day can significantly reduce your stress levels.
Social interaction can reduce stress levels and improve the ability to manage stress. However, social interaction with people who cause stress, such as at stressful family or office gatherings, can have the opposite effect.
Massage therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, reduce pain and improve depression. During regular massage therapy sessions, the heart rate is decreased and breathing becomes easier, reducing feelings of anxiety and returning the body to the state of homeostasis.
At Bodyworks Bliss, we offer a variety of massage therapies that can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Massage therapy not only a great way to manage our own holiday stress, but also makes a nice gift for the special people in your life. Contact Bodyworks Bliss today for more information on massage therapy and its benefits.