• santa claus too tired to lie on floor with many gift boxesIt’s hard to believe, but we’re in the season of holiday decorations and shopping specials — and that means that holiday stress can’t be far behind.

    Personally, I usually wait until the day before Christmas to do my shopping! But no matter what your holiday timetable is, here are some tips for making sure you have happy and healthy celebrations with family and friends. After all, isn’t that what this time of year is all about?

    – Stay hydrated! Drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. (Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators. Don’t substitute them for water.) On shopping days, you may need to drink even more water.

    – Be sure to stretch before and after a long day of shopping. When you are stressed, your muscles are less flexible than usual.

    -Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on those hard shopping mall floors.

    – Make sure your clothing is as comfortable as possible. It’s a good idea to wear layers, because you may be going from a cold environment (outdoors) to a warm environment (indoors).

    – Leave your purse at home. Wear a light backpack instead and pack only those items that are absolutely essential (driver’s license, credit card, etc.).

    – Don’t carry around more than is absolutely necessary at one time.

    – When taking breaks, try to eat light foods. A salad and some fruit is a much better option than a burger and fries.

    – If you start to feel some pain, nip it in the bud. Apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.

    Also make sure to eat well. On average, people gain five to six pounds during the holidays,  and heart attacks occur more often during this time of year. So eat light — salads and fruit are good choices — so that you can treat yourself to an occasional treat during the holidays without packing on extra weight.

    Finally, I am here to help you get well and stay well. So if you experience pain or discomfort during the holidays, give our office a call.

    — Dr. Matthew Waldron

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