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Dec 09 2011

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Dealing With Holiday Stress

Happy ChristmasEvery year I think that I’ll simplify Christmas celebrations so that I can deal better with holiday stress.  But I don’t always do it.

It’s so easy to busy myself with so much baking, decorating, entertaining, attending Christmas events, and shopping, that I end up getting stressed and rushing through the season without focusing on the reason for the season.  It takes real resolve to make decisions to NOT attend every single Christmas craft show, big sale, Christmas play, and holiday party.  Running off to all these things just builds stress.  I have decided to cut back a bit on decorating and baking.  We don’t really need to put out every decoration or to have a kitchen full of calorie laden foods.

Simplifying the season is healthier.  Stress and overeating during the holidays drains the body of energy.  When our bodies are not healthy, it’s hard to focus our spirits on Jesus and His birth.  When we rush around all day and evening, it’s hard to be calm when we get into bed.  If we can’t wind down, we might not sleep.  And if we can’t sleep well, that just creates more stress the next day as we try to keep up with everything while we are tired.  With more holiday treats around, we may be increasing our sugar intake, and that leads to crashes in our blood sugar levels – making us even more tired.

God did not create our bodies to live under constant stress.  He made our bodies with the ability to heal, but when we abuse them by not eating healthy foods, not getting enough rest, not keeping a balanced schedule, and not spending quiet time with God, stress builds up, and stress leads to health problems.

Stress creates a hormone called cortisol, and it’s damaging to the body.  It can cause belly fat build-up, and that fat can trap toxins in the body.  It can also over stimulate the adrenal glands, and that affect the heart and cause fatigue.  Too much cortisol can also make us feel depressed.  Just as God expects us to be good stewards or our finances, He expects us to be wise caretakers of our bodies.  Doing what we can to lower the seasonal demands upon ourselves and to focus on Him will decrease holiday stress, and therefore lower the amount of cortisol we are producing.

In addition to cutting back on the pressures to rush through the holiday season, I am taking natural nutritional supplements that build up my body.   Good nutrition helps me deal with stress.

When my body and mind are stressed, I find it hard to enter the rest that God promises us in Hebrews 4:9-11.  These verses tell us that God has provided a rest for His people.  By ending our striving works, we enter into His rest.  We are even instructed to “be diligent to enter that rest.”  It seems to me that He’s asking us to give attention to the state of our minds, bodies, and spirits and to make a decision to enter His rest.  We can choose to spend this holiday season rushing around and overdoing everything, or we can choose to stop, take time out with God, listen to Him, and to ask Him what is important to do and what not to do during this busy season.

Let’s not let stress rob us from fully enjoying the celebration of Jesus’ birth this year!

Here’s a video with some healthy tips for holiday stress relief.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.daily-devotionals.com/2011/12/dealing-with-holiday-stress/

3 comments

  1. RIHospital

    Good to know! Relationships, realistic expectations temper holiday stress http://t.co/xvXykAZl

  2. Patc31

    Avoiding holiday stress: Dr. Tara Robeson, a clinical psychologist at Bellin Health, was on Thursday’s Good Da… http://t.co/dOQBxVqT

  3. S_Moooo

    Was quiet last wk due to tech probs. Thought that was bad. This wk I have Shingles. Heres 2 good health to all, esp w/holiday & work stress.

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