The holidays in Houston can be a stressful time of the year for you. You may feel overwhelmed with your job, throwing holiday parties, buying gifts, and spending time with family and friends that you may not have seen for a while. The budget crunch that all these activities can cause can bring additional pressure to the stress you may already feel.
Your normal daily living routine can be thrown off during the holiday season. Visiting family members may stay in your home, which can disrupt your sleeping and eating habits. If you do not have a good relationship with a visiting family member, then this can cause more stress.
The holiday season is also a time where you tend to eat unhealthy foods, exercise less, drink more alcohol, and not get enough sleep. As a result, hospital emergency rooms across the nation generally see an increase in heart attacks and other coronary problems during this time of year. Houston Emergency Room doctors and nurses have plenty of nicknames for this time of the year such as the New Years Nuke, the Christmas Coronary, or the Hanukkah Heart Attack. Thankfully, there are ways you can safely avoid these issues so that you can have a happy holiday season.
The harmful effects of stress
Stress isn’t always negative. It can give you the energy to help you get through the day and achieve your goals. However, too much stress over time is harmful to your health. Chronic stress causes high blood pressure, muscle tension, anxiety, and a lack of sleep. As a result, you may pursue unhealthy activities to relieve your stress like eating unhealthy foods, smoke, or drink too much alcohol. These issues will eventually weaken your heart.
Stress causes your adrenal glands to secrete excess adrenaline, which causes anxiety, sleeplessness, irregular heart rhythms, and gastrointestinal problems. Adrenaline also causes excess cortisol production. Cortisol is a hormone that causes a rise in blood sugar and blood pressure. It also causes fat to be stored around your mid-section.
This combination of high levels of adrenaline and cortisol production leads to the development of diabetes, high cholesterol, damaged arteries, a weakened immune system, and other health conditions related to diabetes. These conditions can put a lot of stress on your heart and lead to a potential heart attack.
There are many ways you can reduce stress during the holiday season and lower your chances of getting a heart attack. Exercise is one of the best ways that you can reduce stress, and you do not need a gym membership to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. Going on a relaxing 30-minute walk can be enough to reduce your stress level. Spending a few minutes meditating in addition to your 30-minute walk can further reduce your stress.
Getting plenty of sleep is another great way to reduce stress. This should not be overlooked during the busy holiday season. If you feel a little tired during the day, then spend some time taking a short nap if you feel it’s necessary. You may also need to reduce your caffeine intake if you have trouble falling asleep at night.
Some other ways you can reduce your stress is to prioritize your schedule, try to find harmony with people in situations you cannot control, and try to eat healthy foods whenever you can. The most important thing you can do during the holiday season is to find time for yourself, relax, and step away from your hectic schedule to take care of yourself.