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Take a Breath During the Holiday Rush

Health experts say what should be a lot of fun, quality family time ends up stressing people out so much that it can even cause illness. (Christopher Pattberg/Flickr)
Health experts say what should be a lot of fun, quality family time ends up stressing people out so much that it can even cause illness. (Christopher Pattberg/Flickr)
December 19, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – At this time of the year, many people focus on parties, family activities and gift giving, but all of that holiday fun can leave many people stressed out, tired and sick.

Dr. A.K. Misra, medical director of U.S. HealthWorks, has a few suggestions for staying healthy and stress-free during the holidays: Get your sleep, because he says no amount of holiday chores or events is worth losing sleep over.

Misra says the lack of rest eventually will have an effect on your body.

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

Misra points out people are indoors in close quarters, so germs spread quickly. He recommends washing hands frequently and trying not to spend too much time in crowded places.

It's the time of year when people eat more than they should, too, he adds, and that can add to their problems.

He says 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 explains. “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. Misra says take a brisk walk outside or squeeze in a visit to the gym and that will also help work off some of the stress associated with the holidays.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO