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Holiday Stress Can Lead to Illness

The last minute holiday rush is on and doctors say don't stress out: get some sleep, exercise and eat balanced meals. (cdc.gov)
The last minute holiday rush is on and doctors say don't stress out: get some sleep, exercise and eat balanced meals. (cdc.gov)
December 20, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – At this time of year, many people focus on fun parties, quality family time and gift-giving, but it can lead some people to get caught up in the chaos and consumerism of the holiday season, and that can leave many of us stressed out, tired and sick.

Dr. A.K. Mishra, medical director at U.S. Health Works, has a few suggestions for staying healthy and stress-free during the holidays: Get your sleep, because he said no amount of holiday "chores" or events are worth losing sleep over. Mishra said the lack of rest eventually will have an effect on your body.

"Be it headaches, be it just being slower, having a shorter temper," he said. "People should be able to cue in on the signs that we know about ourselves."

Mishra said people are indoors in close quarters so germs spread quickly. He also says wash your hands frequently and try not to spend too much time in crowded places.

Mishra said it's the time of year when we eat more than we should, and that can add to our problems. He said to keep energy up, eat balanced meals and snacks rather than relying on caffeine, fast food and holiday sugar fixes.

"What people do is, they'll stress eat," he added. "They'll eat poorly in response to stress. If you're putting bad fuel in, you're going to make this a lot worse."

Even though it's cold out, exercise is key. Mishra said to take a brisk walk outside or squeeze in a visit to the gym and that will help work off some of the stress associated with holidays.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN