As the season approaches, your stress factor increases. Give yourself the gift of self care, eat and drink in moderation and schedule some “me” time. Stress can also aggravate back and neck pain which can be helped by chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture. If you want help to relieve holiday stress, you can quickly schedule a session with us using the button below. In addition, try these simple, yet effective ways to increase your ability to cope.
The 4-7-8 Breathe Technique
A daily practice of breath work can lower stress and improve overall health. The 4-7-8 (Relaxing) Breathe takes little time, requires no special equipment, and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quickly and quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Instead of being annoyed by a long wait in line, treat this as a gift of “found time.” Use it to update your calendar, todo list, catch up on email and other activities you can do on your smart phone. Use your Breathe Technique, do some exercises, strike up a conversation. When food shopping, instead of dreading the cooking and cleaning, imagine your family around the table instead. Smell the aromas, delight in their smiles. Positivity and gratitude can be life changing. Practice it.
If you can’t find time to go to the gym for a full workout, practice some discreet exercises at your desk, in your car or waiting in line. Some examples:
- Gluteal Squeeze – This exercise is one you can do without drawing attention. While sitting or standing, contract your butt muscles and hold tight for three seconds. Then, relax and contract again. Repeat throughout the day for a firmer, stronger backside.
- Calf Raises – For well-defined calves, raise your heels a few inches off the ground. Hold this position, and then slowly lower your heels back down.
- Shoulder Stretch – Release tension and reduce back pain with this move. Stretch one arm across your chest, and bring your other arm under and in front of it. Pull your arms close to your chest and hold. Reverse the stretch and repeat.
Always, bear in mind this is the season of giving and gratitude. Even if you are not feeling it, you can’t let your attitude bring yourself and others down. Enjoy comfort food and alcohol in moderation, try not to let seasonal stress cause you to overindulge. We promise, you’ll feel better in the morning!