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5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

For many, the holidays — replete with its shopping, decorating, traveling, and parties — are busy at best, and stressful at worst. In fact, the American Psychological Association found that 44 percent of women experienced a spike in stress during this time. Even worse, the APA also reported that women most frequently turned to food and drink to cope with the pressure. With all of the end-of-year craziness, something’s got to give — but don’t let it be your healthy habits.

1. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Rest can be quite the balancing act. The good news is that if you come up short on one night’s seven or eight hours, you can make up for it in the coming days by getting extra sleep. Tip: Bank hours when you can and increase your odds of falling asleep earlier with tryptophan-rich snacks like bananas or figs before bedtime.

2. Nix the Sugar and Caffeine

Food and drinks that damage your waistline could also cost you in other ways — sugary or caffeinated substances can cause blood sugar to drop, which summarily brings down mood and energy. Tip: Enjoy holiday sweets in moderation and limit caffeine to one cup a day.

3. Know How to Unwind

Find a stress management technique and make it part of your daily routine, whether it’s meditation or quick winter workout. Tip: If you’re short on time, try the “20-Breath Technique” where you simultaneously (and slowly) inhale and count up to ten, then back down to zero.

4. Get Organized

Prioritize and curb anxiety by making some order throughout a very hectic season. Compose to-do lists the night before so you hit the ground running the next morning. When it comes to buying gifts, write out a budget along with some ideas beforehand for efficient shopping. In addition to being more productive, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment — and boosted self-esteem — on a daily basis.

5. Trim the Interruptions

Scaling back on email and social media, if only temporarily, could be a small anecdote to not having enough time in the day. Tip: Turn off your email in settings or delete the unnecessary apps on your phone. This way, you won’t be tempted to scroll through newsfeeds or check in online, which takes up valuable minutes every day.

Find more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.

Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professional.