This time of year has taken on a stereotype, of sorts. It’s supposedly a magical time of year full of merriment and wonder! But is it really?
Contrary to the stereotype, this time of year has many people feeling stress, anxiety, grief, and depression. From the cold weather that makes it a chore to even get out of bed, to the end of year deadlines, commitments, and financial strains, it’s no wonder why people start to feel low, regardless of the sparkling decorations and time off with friends and family.
So how do you cope? Here are some tips.
Don’t Succumb to Fantasies of Perfection
You might burn the pie. You dog may have an accident in front of your guests. Maybe your oven even quits working. Things are bound to go wrong, but when you build up an idea in your head of the perfect holiday, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Instead of playing into the fictional portrayal of the holidays you might see in movies and on TV, look to what you have and focus on being thankful. When things go wrong, think about what you do have and focus on enjoying yourself with friends and family.
There are some stressors you can’t avoid, but you can reduce the level of stress induced by planning out your commitments in advance. Decide which days are for shopping, baking, visiting friends and any other activities you decide to prioritize. Think ahead and plan out your menus and shopping lists to help ensure that you’re not clambering at the last minute to buy forgotten grocery items or gifts.
Remember, You Can’t Do Everything:
This time of year, everyone is having gatherings – from your friends, to your work, to your family – you may even be hosting one yourself! But the pressure to commit to spending time with friends and family can actually have negative effects on your stress level. While it’s important to see family and friends, it’s also important to take care of your mental health, so don’t over commit yourself. It’s okay to sit a gathering out if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need some time to decompress.
Set Aside Time for Yourself:
The holiday season can be a pretty social time. While some thrive when they are constantly around people, others get anxious, stressed, and become mentally drained from needing to be “on” all of the time. If you are this kind of person, understand that scheduling in some “you” time should be a priority.
Set a Budget, and Stick to It!
It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to gift giving. While you may have good intentions, spending too much over the holiday season will cause you to feel guilt and stress, even if you are temporarily happy at the time of your purchases. Instead, take some time to plan your expenses and determine a realistic budget which you can stick to in an effort to mitigate financial stressors down the road.
Try and Maintain Your Healthy Habits
The Holiday season is no excuse to stop working out and eating healthy all together. Sure, there should be some leeway this time of year, but combat it by also eating healthy and well-balanced meals and maintaining regular workouts between gatherings. This will not only help you from gaining a bunch of unwanted holiday weight, but it will help reduce the mental fog that can result when you continually gorge yourself on unhealthy foods.
Reach out to a professional:
Finally, even when you do your best to have a positive outlook and avoid the common stressors of the holiday season, depression, stress, and anxiety can still get the best of us. If you are feeling consistently sad, depressed, anxious, hopeless, or irritable, and can’t get out from under it, reach out to a doctor or a mental health professional for help.
From the pumpkin pie to the mashed potatoes and gravy, if you’re like most of America, you are probably feeling a little bloated and sluggish from overindulging on your favorite holiday treats. Getting back to your healthy habits can be extra challenging with so many lingering leftovers and temptations.
Here are some tips to shed the post-feast bloat and kickstart your healthy habits.
Salty foods are everywhere during the holidays, from the gravy to the french-fried-onions atop your green bean casserole, so it’s no surprise you feel extra bloated after your Thanksgiving feast. In the days to follow, consider salt your enemy and pay careful mind to cut back on high sodium foods to shed excess water weight.
Drink Lemon Water
While it may sound funny, drinking water will actually help to flush out the extra water you are retaining from eating fatty or salty foods. Even better, add an extra splash of lemon! Doing so alkalizes your highly acidic and bloated body, which helps to get rid of excess water weight.
Nix the Sugar
Sugar is an inflammatory and increases your insulin levels. This increase can cause blood sugar crashes and causes you to feel hungry. Cutting out sugar will help improve your energy levels and also reduce your urge to partake in the mindless indulgence of post-Thanksgiving leftovers.
Reduce Dairy Intake
Much like sugar, dairy is also an inflammatory, so it can have similar effects to that of sugar. Avoid milk, cheese and dairy products if you want to shed the post-holiday bloat quickly.
Over the holidays, your liver puts in extra effort in order to metabolize the goodies you’ve been indulging in. Don’t create additional work for it by consuming alcohol. Instead, set the reset button and give your liver a vacation. A well-rested liver can metabolize fat more efficiently.
Fill Up on Lean Proteins and Veggies.
Fill up on complex carbs! Veggies are alkalizing, much like the lemon water we mentioned earlier. Fill up on veggies high in complex carbs in order to morph your highly acidic and bloated body into the fat metabolizing machine it was pre-feast.
Take Advantage of Diuretics.
Finally, don’t forget to make use of diuretics! Natural diuretics can come in many forms, from certain foods to supplemental herbal teas. They work to flush out the excess water weight you’ve retained over the holiday. Asparagus is an excellent diuretic, so feel free to fill up on this tasty vegetable post-Thanksgiving. Another great diuretic is dandelion root, which can come in the form of tea. Sip on this throughout the day to naturally flush out excess water.
Second to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American Women. In fact, each year, over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States alone, and over 40,000 die as a result of the disease.
While those numbers are startling, it’s important to remember that, if detected and treated early, you can increase the likelihood that treatment will be successful. However, in order to detect it early you must be proactive about your health, ensuring you are scheduling regular screenings.
What is Breast Cancer and how does it start?
Breast Cancer is caused by the accelerated growth of the cells within the breast. This overabundance of unneeded cells can cause tumors to form. These tumors can sometimes be felt, but in the very early stages, they are usually detected through an x-ray. If these tumors are what’s called ‘malignant,’ or ‘cancerous,’ it means that the cells are capable of invading other areas of the body through the blood or lymph systems.
Symptoms to Watch For
Breast cancer can reveal itself in the form of various symptoms. However it is also common for women to either never experience any symptoms at all, or experience symptoms so faint that they go unnoticed.
But there are some key warning signs: Be on the lookout for any change to the shape or size of the breast, any discharge (other than breast milk), and pain or lumps in the breast or under arm areas.
Common Risk Factors
While there are a number of ways you can reduce your risk of breast cancer, whether or not you’re susceptible to the disease has a lot to do with factors that are uncontrollable:
Females are more susceptible:
Did you know both males and females can get breast cancer? While it is certainly possible for a man to have breast cancer, it occurs 100 times more often in women.
More than any other race, breast cancer is more commonly diagnosed in Caucasian women.
Women who are 55 or older pose a higher risk to breast cancer than younger women do.
Cancer runs in the family:
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer, the likelihood that you will also experience breast cancer at some point in your lifetime increases.
You’ve had breast cancer before:
If breast cancer has been detected in one of your breasts in the past, then your risk increases that it will also develop in your other breast.
Ways to Reduce Risk
While you do not have control over the above factors, there are ways you can reduce your vulnerability to the disease:
Live an Active Lifestyle:
Engage routinely in exercise! Lack of physical activity can make you more susceptible to breast cancer.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits:
Avoid saturated fats and make sure you are eating plenty fruits or vegetables. A poor diet can lower your immunity to breast
Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Eat healthy and exercise regularly to obtain and maintain a healthy weight.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption:
Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. Keep it to a minimum. The more regularly you consume alcohol, the more you are putting yourself at risk.
Have questions? Or maybe you want to schedule a screening? Contact us today!