Can you feel it? We’re talking about STRESS. Right now, the holiday season is, without doubt, the most stressful time of the year. There are many contributing factors – shopping, traffic (both inside and outside stores), office parties, cleaning your home, hosting a party, worrying whether you have enough money to cover your gifts, and so on. It comes at you from many angles. Stress can affect any one of us. And if you’re not careful, it can impact your health, hitting you both emotionally or mentally, and physically. Is Stress Making You Sick? Yes, it can, and we’ll examine that, and look at solutions, here at the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network.
What is Stress?
“I’m so-o-o-o stressed!” “I am totally stressed out!” “You’re stressing me, right now!” Most of us have uttered at least one of these familiar phrases. But do you know what stress is and how it can really affect our health? We know it’s a normal part of life, yet It’s hard to give a definitive description. But we know that stress is your body’s way of protecting you when you feel threatened, physically or emotionally. Our body goes into a fight or flight mode.
Stress is a Silent Killer
According to Everyday Health, chronic health is a national epidemic for all genders and ages.
There are a number of stress-related illnesses. For starters, it’s very hard on your immune system, which can lead to cold, the flu, and other infections. Left unchecked, stress can also contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. There are also some silent signs that stress is making you sick, such as breaking out in hives, repeated headaches, hair loss, and more. Stress can also lead to over-eating, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Common Causes of Stress
As we mentioned earlier, the holidays are the most stressful time of the year. However, many of you experience constant stress year-round. Some of the most common causes include your job or career, sleep deprivation, relationships, poor nutrition, family, finances/debt, chronic illness or injury, politics, media overload, emotional issues such as depressions, anxiety, anger, etc., and more.
You Can Manage Your Stress
While some of us are better at managing our stress than others, we all can get our stress levels under control. Take a deep breath. You can get through this. Here are some ways you can reduce stress, during the holiday season, and beyond:
- Stop trying to please everybody, especially your family
- Make lists and stick to them
- Stop being a perfectionist
- Stop being hard on yourself
- Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
- Accept the fact that you can’t change everything
- Take periodic deep breaths throughout the day
- Start Meditating
- Exercise more (yoga, tai chi, walking)
- Get a pet, which can help relax you
- Meet with a medical professional to discuss your stress
And by the way, we want to point out that you can’t put all stress in a negative light. Experts say increased stress can sometimes help boost your productivity.
Talk to Us About Your Stress Level
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to talk to a medical professional, come and see us. The affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network provide fast and affordable emergency care, and with 15-locations, we’re conveniently located near you. UrgentMED is the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California, and we accept most health insurance plans. We look forward to helping you stay on a healthy track.