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Offered by Jessica Ahmed, Licensed Acupuncturist

Tips to Minimize Stress and Maximize Wellbeing
The holidays are an opportunity to connect with family and friends, take a restful break from work and experience gratitude for our gifts in life, but often we are so stressed out that we can’t fully enjoy ourselves. For this reason, it may be the most important time of year to keep up exercise, diet and wellness routines, but it is also the easiest time to stray from healthy habits.
With a little planning, you can indulge without wreaking havoc on your health. Here are a few suggestions:

Diet and Exercise: If you love great food as I do, holidays are a time when even more exercise is necessary to maintain your weight (trying to lose weight this time of the year is very challenging!). Sneak in 10-minute bursts of extra exercise throughout the day if you are too busy to extend your current workouts. Fill up on vegetables, water and protein before holiday parties so that when you inevitably indulge in high-calorie, starchy and fatty foods, you can control your portions.

Herbal Medicine: A couple of great holiday formulas to have on-hand are Cold Quell and Curing Pills. Cold Quell contains powerful immune-boosting, antiviral and antibacterial herbs, which can help prevent trips to the doctor when you catch a cold in its early stage. Curing Pills ease digestive disturbances from indulging in too much food, alcohol and holiday pies.

Acupuncture: Increased holiday stress can lead to irritability, moodiness, digestive disorders, tense muscles and pain. Acupuncture helps you better deal with stress by relaxing the nervous system, reducing muscular tension and triggering the release of endorphins, your body’s pain-killing and stress-reducing hormones.

Breathing and Alone Time: Being around family every moment of the day can be stressful even if you get along famously. Try to take periodic breaks so you can be alone and focus on deep breathing, even if it is just a five-minute escape to a locked bathroom or to run an errand.

Cultivate Gratitude: Take a moment to be thankful for someone or something in your life. Fancy presents are fun, but happiness often stems from feelings of gratitude, so try writing down five things for which you are grateful each day for a week (or a month, or indefinitely!). Consider expressing this gratitude in your community by volunteering, or simply finding opportunities to express kindness and compassion in your everyday life.

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