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  • Janine Friedman, MSILR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Holiday Stress Management Tip #4

Between employee burnout, political tension, a tumultuous hurricane season and the threat of terrorist attacks/gun violence, stress levels and anxiety are at an all-time high. These tips are designed to help ease the pressure this holiday season. Please feel free to share with employees, co-workers, friends, family, or anyone else you think might benefit. The holiday season is here! Hopefully, it will be a time of warmth, joy, happiness, excitement, family closeness and religious tradition. Along with it, however, can come the feelings of being over-scheduled, financial stress, fatigue, irritability and even overwhelm. If your family has suffered a loss or significant change within the past year, you might also experience feelings of grief, sadness or depression. There are things you can do to alleviate some of your stress this holiday season, and its impact on your work and personal life. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be sharing some stress management tips, so that you can make the most out of this special time. Holiday Stress Management Tip #4


I know many of you don't want to think about this until January 2nd, but it's even more important to work it into your schedule now. Here's why: Our bodies produce the hormone cortisol when we are exposed to stress. High levels of cortisol result in suppressing our immune system, which is why cold and flu season typically occurs during and after the holiday season. And, it can cause weight gain. That bloated belly that you usually notice on January 2nd is not just a result of all the extra eating. It also is a result of a build-up of the stress hormone cortisol. Exercise serves to burn off excess cortisol. Another reason exercise is so important during the holidays is that it produces endorphins. Endorphins elevate our mood and help us better manage our stress. Unfortunately, exercise is often the first thing to go during this busy time. However, this is the time we need it the most. The key to making an exercise routine stick is to do something you enjoy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Join CrossFit, a gym or a boot camp class

  • Attend exercise, yoga or Tai Chi classes at local community or fitness centers

  • Exercise at home to a DVD

  • Join a team

  • Swim

  • Dance

  • Lift small weights

  • Walk around the block or on a treadmill

  • Sign up for a 5K

  • Try a mud run

  • Hike

If you are currently exercising regularly, keep up the great work! If not, aim to build in some extra movement for 30 minutes 3x a week. It can help you limit or prevent weight gain. Additionally, you will feel better about yourself and have more energy to enjoy the holidays. Why not give yourself the gift of exercise this holiday season? You and those around you (family, friends, co-workers) will reap the benefits. I encourage you to give these ideas a try and would love to hear how it goes. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about my stress management workshops for employees or individual resilience coaching. Wishing you all the best for a peaceful holiday season!

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