THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The holidays can be wonderful, but they can also be stressful, and with stress comes bad habits and sometimes those habits can lead to pain.
Specialists at the Welcome Back Pain Management and Upright MRI Centre in Kamloops shared a few tips for getting through the holidays in tip top shape.
PREVENT HOLIDAY STRESS
Wanda Sexton (Wyatt), Clinical CounsellorRCC, EMDR Therapist, Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology
Acknowledge Your Feelings: if someone close to you has recently passed away or you can't be with your loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. Allow yourself to feel these emotions. It's OK to take time. You can't force yourself to be happy and stress free just because it's the holiday season.
Be Realistic: the holidays don't have to be perfect or just like they were last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change. Choose a few to hold on to and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails, and videos.
Stick to a Budget: before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget! Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try other alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone's name, make homemade gifts, start a family gift exchange.
PREVENTATIVE TIPS FOR HEALTHY HOLIDAYS
Theresa Draper, Registered Massage Therapist
Stay hydrated: it's easy to overlook drinking water during the holiday season. Take a water bottle with you while shopping or stop often for water breaks. Ideally, a person should drink 6-8 glasses daily. Don't forget your children, they need water too!
Avoid falls out of vehicles: when getting out of your vehicle, rotate your body so that both feet can be placed on the ground before the rest of your body, then stand up and take a couple of 'testing' steps before racing off.
Ease foot tension: after extra hours on our feet from shopping, get togethers and food preparation, you may find your feet ache. Give yourself a break for a few minutes and slowly roll one foot at a time on a golf or tennis ball. It will not only ease the tension but also boost your energy for the next event!
AVOID BODILY INJURY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Patti Takeuchi, Registered Physiotherapist
Watch your posture: carry heavier objects close to your body and centered midline. Avoid carrying too many shopping bags in your hands with elbows straight to reduce strain in your arms and neck.
Healthy exercise: all the walking around stores is good for you but it can be a stressful time too. Look for healthier, stress-free ways to get some exercise during the season. One way is to cut your own Christmas tree, go for a family hike, or take some time to stretch.
Wear sensible shoes: we all want to look our best, but sometimes fashion can be harmful. Try to wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Ladies should stay off high heels during long trips to the mall.
STRETCH AND BREATHE THROUGH IT ALL
Warren Lewis, RYT-200 and Usui Relki Master
Get-off -your-feet pose: too much time on your feet cooking, shopping, and socializing? For optimal stress relief results in the least amount of time, take your feet above your heart. Simply lie on your back with your legs straight up the wall, the legs-up-thewall pose in yoga.
Breathe your way to calm: relax your shoulders, neck, and upper back. Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth, emphasizing your exhalation. Be sure to release your rib cage downward as you exhale fully.
Stretch away stress: while standing, simply raise your arms above your head at shoulder distance. Take five long, deep breaths. Then inhale as you reach and hold your left wrist with your right hand; exhale as you side bend your entire body to the right, stretching out your left side. Hold for a breath or two. Inhale as you return your arms straight above your head. Repeat on the other side.