Ahhhhhhh, it’s that time of year again! Cozy fires (RELAXING)…spiked egg nog (COMFY)…mistletoe (ROMANTIC)…the mad dash to get shopping done so you have to wait in line for an hour (IRKSOME)…a crammed holiday schedule and not enough time to get to it all (DEMANDING)…and of course, doing everything you can to create the ultimate perfect holiday for the family (UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION THAT CAUSES ANXIETY).
We all juggle a few more balls during the holiday season, and that can lead to a little something called S-T-R-E-S-S.
Stress affects your entire body – not to mention your hair, skin and nails – and it’s the over- riding factor when it comes to how fast we age. Ever see someone after a span of time who has experienced a major stress event like a divorce or death and realize that they have physically changed? Yep, the bags under the eyes due to not sleeping, saggy cheeks and even changes in weight can occur.
Well, stress not only catapults aging, stress can make you sick! ‘Tis the season for colds and flu, but chronic stress can make you prone to both physical and psychological illness and infection. Headaches, tummy troubles, and sleep problems are on the LIGHTER side of the spectrum. Heavy-duty chronic stress side effects include diabetes, adrenal exhaustion, infertility, heart disease and depression. BLECK!
Stress is serious stuff, and experts are now saying that stress may “actually contribute to the onset of diseases by changing our very genes.” (Source: www.io9.com)
With Christmas and New Years around the corner, I thought it would be timely to contact Stress Reduction and Self-Care Expert and Author Fay Jones. Fay is the author of the book “When Stress Makes You Sick.”
Fay has been working in women’s health, working directly with patients for about 28 years and for the last 10 years, she’s been an acupuncturist focusing on women’s heath and stress related problems.
I reached out to Fay to share her top 3 Stress Reduction tips for the Holidays. (These tips are good anytime, but particularly good for the holiday season).
1) Fay’s first tip is to “Relax expectations.” She told me that stress is what happens in that space between what actually is and what you think it should be. How true is THAT! So ditch the picture of the perfect holiday and control what you can…and for the rest? Just let it go. Remember Uncle Ralph who you see once a year? Yeah, he STILL is going to end up having too many cocktails and insulting somebody….don’t get caught up with higher expectations – it’s the holidays…and generally, things are NOT going to go the way you plan….roll with it!
2) Her second tip is to “Be realistic with your time.” It’s true that there are only 24 hours in a day. Faye says that you can only go go go so much until you end up hitting a wall. And that this is the time of year that nature hibernates. You gonna MESS with mother nature? Maybe take a break from all the rush, or give yourself a little extra time to get to your destination to avoid traffic jams. It’ll all get done in time.
3) Tip number 3 is “Recharge your own battery.” This can be whatever you need to recharge – exercise, going to bed a little earlier, meditation, breathing or practicing gratitude. Our stress expert says that you are more likely to function at a higher level after a re-charge and less likely to get sick.
Are you feeling sick from stress? Fay says, “When stress makes you sick, it’s a wake-up call. It’s time to go inside, be with yourself and learn to listen to your body. When you’re willing to do this, you begin to realize that your body is your ally, not your enemy. Stop judging your body, it’s not attacking you or failing to answer the call. It’s actually making the call.”
If you are seriously swimming in stress this season, don’t fret, you can STRESS LESS with a free 30 minute Stress Less Strategy Session with Stress Reduction Expert Fay Jones!
Just fill out your email name and phone number and she’ll contact you – how cool is THAT?
Fay is also available for acupuncture and stress strategy sessions in person for those in the LA area and also via Skype and phone for those who aren’t local.
Thanks for the tips, Fay! Here’s how to get in contact with this stress master:
Author Fay Jones, M.S., L.Ac.
Stress Reduction and Self-Care Expert
Here’s To Stressing Less And Aging Less,
~The Anti-Aging Analyst