Winter holidays are the most festive season of the year and it’s a chance for you to celebrate with your friends and family. They can also lead to an onslaught of responsibilities and chores; shopping, gift wrapping, baking, cooking and cleaning are just a few things that might overwhelm you this time of year. With holiday joy comes holiday stress and for migraine sufferers, stress can easily trigger bad headaches or migraines that can interfere with finishing holiday errands, let alone enjoying the season.
So, let’s look at what makes the holidays so stressful and how you can combat it.
Why Are Holidays So Stressful?
- Winter Blues: The cold weather does not make it any easier. Sometimes, the dull and gloomy weather outside starts to project on your mood as well. The lack of sunshine can get you a little depressed and the festive season doesn’t seem so jolly anymore.
- Financial Strains: Holidays can also get expensive. If you have a big family, you are probably buying a lot of gifts and your savings are taking a huge hit, which can lead to stress.
- Unhappy Memories: Most of the time, reminiscing with your family is great. It feels good to relive childhood memories. However, not all memories are happy. You might be missing the presence of a loved one who has passed away or maybe your children were not able to join you for Christmas this year.
- Nosy Relatives: You have to spend your holidays socializing with people that you were dodging all year round. Questions regarding your career and love life may come up and if you are not in a good place, it will most likely stress you out.
- Workplace: So, your boss has decided to make you work right up until Christmas Eve. This means you have not had much time to finish all errands and you are probably just loaded on caffeine to keep yourself going.
You may be experiencing some of the above stresses, maybe all or maybe more, but despair not!
You can effectively cope with the holiday madness with the tips below.
Tips for Combating Holiday Stress & Migraines
- Embrace Winter: Don’t let winter ruin your holiday celebration. Instead, enjoy what winter has to offer. Take your kids out to the front yard and built a Santa snowman. Go ice skating, enjoy the festive music in the mall while you shop and grab a cup of peppermint mocha from Starbucks.
- Plan Ahead and Ask for Help: Make a to-do list and keep things simple. Plan out all you need to do so you don’t fall behind on your errands and then get stressed about it. Avoid putting off your shopping until the last minute. Don’t take everything on yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate when you can.
- Take Time Out to Relax and Remember to Breath: When we are stressed, our breathing pattern changes. The primary role of breathing is to absorb oxygen and to expel carbon dioxide through the movement of the lungs. Typically, an anxious person takes small, shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs. This style of breathing disrupts the balance of gases in the body and can prolong feelings of stress and anxiety by making the physical symptoms of stress worse. So remember to control your breathing and take a few deep breaths to stay relaxed.
- Exercise: Even it it’s only taking a short walk get a little exercise daily..
- Avoid Migraine Triggers: Some triggers can’t be avoided, changes in barometric pressure, holiday noise, bright lights and scents. However, some triggers you can avoid…
- Nitrate rich foods (cheese, processed meats, ham etc.)
- Caffeinated beverages
- Alcohol (red wine & beer)
- Lack of Sleep
As you run around shopping, attending to last minute details and staying out a little too late at that office party, you may find yourself getting less sleep than usual. This is can be a huge trigger for migraines. Though sometimes it is unavoidable, do your best to get 6-8 hours of sleep nightly. If you have an occasion where that isn’t possible, at least try to squeeze in an afternoon nap the next day.
Seasonal parties and alcohol seem to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, alcohol and migraines also go hand in hand. Hydration is your best line of defense. Make sure, before, during and after consuming alcohol, you make sure to consume water. Healthy snacks every hour or so can prevent drops in blood sugar which can also trigger migraines and headaches.
Despite all the stress, many consider the holidays their favorite time of year, and you can too! Don’t let fear of stress or migraines ruin your seasonal festivities. As long as you are aware and prepared, you will decrease your risk of holiday migraines.
MigreLief-NOW – If do you feel a migraine coming on take fast acting “MigreLief-NOW” as early as possible to provide nutritional support that can be very helpful.
Calm & Clever – If stress is something that is part of your daily life consider using Akeso’s all new “Calm and Clever” unique formulation for reducing stress and anxiety while enhancing focus, memory and recall.
Have the happiest and safest of holidays.
Best wishes from all of us at Akeso Health Sciences,