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Give Yourself the Gift of a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Welcome to December, a month of holy days and celebration. This month is also a grand finale as we finish the year and this decade, which makes self-care essential. The holidays are often a hectic time with shopping, traveling, gaining that holiday 10 pounds, and often for those with fibromyalgia, getting the holiday blues. Being exhausted increases your stress, which can become a vicious cycle.

Exercise and adequate rest are good antidotes for stress and fatigue but may take a back seat to chores and errands. To top it off, burning the candle at both ends makes you more susceptible to colds and other ailments. The following are some practical tips to help you minimize your risk of health complications and reduce the stress that so often accompanies the holidays. (You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.)


  • Maintain your regular schedule as much as possible. People are creatures of habit and feel out-of-sorts when routines are disrupted. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends.
  • Cold temperatures and wet weather can cause serious health issues. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.
  • Whether you're traveling across town or around the world, help ensure your trip is safe. Don't drink and drive, and don't let someone else drink and drive. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.
  • Injuries can happen anywhere and can also occur around the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you avoid accidents.
    • Use step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations.
    • Over 200 fires are stated in the USA each year from Christmas tree lights. If you have a tree, always turn the lights off before leaving the house or going to bed.
    • Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains.
    • Never leave fireplaces, stoves or candles unattended.
    • Don't use generators, grills, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage.
  • Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based product on your hands. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose to avoid transferring germs.

Even die-hard holiday enthusiasts may find that extra shopping and socializing can leave them wiped out. Let go of the need to be perfect. Your house doesn't have be immaculate, and you do not have to attend all the holiday parties. Do the best you can and let the rest fall into place.

Have a happy, healthy holiday season!



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