De-Stress after the Holidays
While the holiday season can be one of the most wonderful times of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful.
Extra social occasions, stressful family situations, indulgent food, increased alcohol, end-of-year deadlines . . . January can feel like a breath of (very cold) fresh air.
As you start to get back into a routine after the holidays, it’s important to take some time to de-stress after the holidays and all the activity of December. Bruxism (night-time teeth grinding) is easily exacerbated by stress. That grinding can then lead to loss of sleep, headaches, and tension and discomfort in your jaw, neck, or shoulders — which only increases the likelihood that you’ll feel more stressed and the cycle will repeat. But there are things you can do to decrease stress and feel better!
Here are four tips to de-stress after the holidays and get ready for a happy and healthy new year:
After staying up late to celebrate, catch up, or watch the ball drop, our sleep schedules are often a little ragged by the time January 1 rolls around. But good sleep is essential to good health, and to decreasing stress. Most adults should aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. The more consistent you can be in when you hit the hay and when you wake up in the morning, the better.
All those sugar cookies, big family dinners, cocktails, and rich late snacks may taste great throughout the holiday season, but we frequently start January feeling a little sluggish. Getting fresh and nutritious food back into your regular diet can help give you the energy to feel better and combat stress. It can also help you keep your teeth healthy and decrease the prevalence of bruxing: drinking acidic, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages can increase bruxism.
One of the best (and quickest) tips to de-stress throughout your day is just to take a deep breath. Slow deep breathing helps you slow your heart rate and feel better overall. All that running around during the holiday season can leave you feeling harried and scattered. Practicing deep breathing or adding a meditation into your day can help you restore balance and promote focus.
Exercise tops the list of many New Year’s resolutions, but with good reason. Regular movement and exercise, whether it’s a walk around the block or training for a triathlon, is a great way to get healthy both mentally and physically. Increased energy, improved mood, and sleep support are just some of the incredible de-stressing benefits you can get from adding regular movement in your day.
These tips to de-stress can make all the difference in your day and in your recovery after the stress of the holidays. And you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet or commit to an intense workout regimen to get the benefits: add a vegetable, take a deep breath, sneak in a quick walk, and go to bed early.
Still dealing with bruxism even after following these tips to de-stress? A mouthguard might help! Check out www.sleepright.com to learn more.