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The Dreaded Holiday Season
by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FRCCSS(C), FICC

Oh my, my – Christmas is drawing near once again! Just a few weeks away. It can be a stressful time of the year for everyone – but why?

Part of the problem, seems to be human nature that we try to do too much in December, or leave things to the last minute. And the irony is – we do it each and every year!

Every year I consistently see people overtired and exhausted from a very hectic schedule. As the old saying goes “been there, done that”.

I know it is difficult to say ‘no’, but for your own health and well-being sit down and plan your festive activities. Think of all the office and staff parties, dinners with friends, and the ‘get togethers’ you want to host at home.

So what to do? Prioritize of course! Say ‘yes’ to some – and a courteous ‘with regrets’ to others. There are obviously some functions that you either must attend, or really don’t want to miss. So mark these ones on the calendar and work down the list.

Leave yourself some ‘nights off’ when you are scheduling your holiday month. Remember, when you are working, it gets hectic in most offices as well. Think about it – you essentially will be doing four weeks work in about a 2½ to 3 week time frame. Many businesses and companies have their ‘year ends’ on December 31 st. So you have to balance family, work and festivities during a very busy time of year.

Don’t book a festivity or event every night of the week. Give yourself a few nights off every week to rest and relax. Have a quiet evening with your family, or a few close friends.

December is definitely a time for enjoying the season and celebrating the successes of the past year. So when celebrating, be sure not to overindulge. There seems to be an abundance of great food and drink.

Every year, there are people who gain an extra 5 or 10 lbs over the holiday from eating too much and not being as diligent with their exercises. It is important to stick with your fitness program – even if it is just walking every day. Not only is it good to maintain your weight, but exercise is also good for your heart, lungs, muscles and bone density.

And there are a couple of more factors to think of; getting your shopping done early and celebrations on Christmas day.

By shopping early, you miss the crowds and will have every package wrapped or mailed ahead of time. Make a list early of whom you have to shop for, or if you did one last year, review it – are any changes needed?

If mailing things away think of small and non-fragile items. Gift certificates are not really original but can be quite practical – especially for those teenagers who have a special style or fashion favourite.

Last but likely the most important – what to do that special day? Many get together with family or friends. Travelling to a distant location can be special but also can result in a tiring trip if it is only a couple of days. If so, once again, be sure to pace yourself.

Holiday Check List

  • Don’t overbook yourself with holiday gatherings and festivities.
  • Allow yourself some time to relax.
  • Watch your eating and drinking – don’t overindulge.
  • Keep up with your exercises.
  • Get your rest and adequate sleep.
  • Shop early. Mail presents and cards early.
  • If travelling over the Christmas holiday to spend time with family, allow yourself an extra day or two if possible.
  • Overall, don’t try to do too much.

 Reprinted with permission of
The Seniors' Advocate. P.O. Box 5005, Waverly, Nova Scotia, B2R 1S2

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