Holiday Stress and Anxiety – Your Healthiest Treatment Options

fireworks_black_150_thmThis is such a joyous exciting season! Many faiths have reason to celebrate this time of year. Many people have long-held precious traditions. Family and friends make special effort to be together. Receptions, parties, brunches, gatherings, and meals are planned.

Do find that this season gives you energy and good, warm feelings?

Or, do elements of this season make you anxious?

Do the preparations, busy calendar, and financial outflow give you stress?

I hope not. But if they do, you are definitely not alone. About 44% of women and 31% of men report an increased level of stress at holiday time. Some rate the hype, finances and issues as mentioned above, as the source of their stress. Others point to discomfort with social situations.

I want to share something helpful I recently read. It is interesting that we each feel like others are looking at and judging us in such situations. In reality, all of those people are having the same self-conscious feelings about themselves.

So, if you are feeling additional stress, what are your best alternatives to manage it?

Alcohol may seem like a good option, but it actually puts you at risk for a fall or a driving accident. Then, it makes you feel even more tired the next day. And, alcohol and drugs can make your stress worse rather than better.

A class of medication used for stress for decades is benzodiazepines. These medications include alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, and brand names like Valium and Xanax. They have made the lists of medications that are not safe for most people over the age of 65. They aren’t good options for people under age 65 either with very few exceptions. They make it hard to think clearly, increase risk of falling or other injury, and increase risk of driving accidents. When these are taken regularly, dependence develops. Then it becomes hard to get back off of them. So, I recommend you DO NOT use benzodiazepines to manage holiday stress.

A good night of sleep can be very helpful in dealing with stress. But, using medicine to get to sleep can put you at risk. These medicines include zolpidem/Ambien, zaleplan/Sonata, and eszopiclone/Lunesta. This list also includes over-the-counter sleep aids like diphenhydramine found in Benadryl, Tylenol PM, and Aleve PM. Doxylamine is another ingredient found in sleep aids and cold/flu combinations that has strong anticholinergic side effects. This means it can cause constipation, dry eyes, falls, and can cause slowed thinking.

So what are some safer ways to manage holiday stress?

Take care of yourself :-).

Healthy tips

  • Eat healthy foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit fattening party foods.
  • Drink plenty of water/fluids to avoid dehydration while running around busy. Limit the caffeine to avoid the ‘crash’ later and to protect your heart.
  • Get some exercise to clear your head and improve your mood.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Note, the exercise and avoiding alcohol will help with your sleep.
  • Take a break. Taking some time to relax, pray, meditate, or get a massage can help you recalibrate.

For more information about manageing holiday stress, contact us at www.medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Does the Bible give any guidance about managing stress? Oh yes, from the dawn of time people have had fears, doubts, stress, and anxiety. Repeatedly, God has called us back to him. He repeatedly tells us that HIS peace is sufficient and beyond our understanding. Let some of these verses bring you a new perspective.

Philippians 4:6 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

John 14:27 ESV

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 55:22 ESV

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 118:5-6 ESV

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Romans 8:31 ESV

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

In addition, an interesting ‘tip’ is given to help us find more peace. Reaching out to other people benefits both them and us.

Galatians 6:10 ESV

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

John 13:35 ESV

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Proverbs 12:25 ESV

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

The list of related Bible verses goes on and on. We were not created to live in anxiety and stress. May the peace of our Lord and Savior be yours this Christmas!

Blessings,

Michelle

 

Water- How Much is Enough?

clipart-sun-opT55BpiBSummer can be so fun! Bright sunny days, warm temperatures, festivals, vacations, long hours of daylight…

Summer can also be hot! During the summer it is even more important to drink plenty of water. So, how much is enough?

When we don’t drink enough water, we become dehydrated. When it is hot, and we sweat, it is even easier to be dehydrated.

What about age? As we age, our total body water decreases. (Check out your skin lines and wrinkles,). So, it is even more easy to be dehydrated.

When you are dehydrated you can feel dizzy, especially when standing or quickly turning. You can also have a headache, feel extra tired, and feel like your heart is pounding or beating differently. With decreased water in your body, you can become constipated and can find you urinate less.

If you take diuretics (water pills), your risk of dehydration goes up.

If you have incontinence (trouble holding your urine), do you tend to avoid drinking when you are going to be somewhere without easy bathroom access? This can make it easier to be dehydrated, too.

Note, one technique that often helps with incontinence is to empty your bladder on a scheduled basis. Rather than drink less, schedule bathroom stops every 2-3 hours rather than waiting for the urge to urinate.

When you are going to be out in the heat, don’t forget to drink water. The hotter and more you sweat, the more important that you drink as you get thirsty. Dehydration can make it easier to fall and keep you from feeling good.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.

Biblical Application

Thirst is mentioned at least 42 times in the Bible. The term is often used to represent our longing for God. Jesus said He could quench thirst.

Small doses of the ‘water’ He offers are not sufficient. To be thoroughly quenched, full commitment is the best dose. Think of full glasses of water vs drops. Regular time in the Word vs hearing verses on Sunday. Daily, or even many times per day, time in prayer. Regular time in praise.

John 4:14 ESV

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37 ESV

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

Isaiah 44:3 ESV

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

I’m praying we all find the living water than can truly quench our thirst.

Blessings,

Michelle