SPRINGFIELD - It’s Black Friday and the holiday shopping season has officially begun.
That special gift you’ve been looking for is already sold out and you don’t know where you can find it now. Or how about this year’s popular toy that every child wants, but that no store seems to have? You finally find something else to replace them with, but it’s out of your price range. Now, you must start looking all over again, and the checkout lines are getting longer and longer.
To top it all off, when you get outside to your car, it won’t start because you find that you left your lights on and the battery is dead.
“As wonderful as the holidays can be, they can also be a stressful time for many amplified by financial and job insecurities, health worries, and many other stressors. Added to the demands of an already hectic schedule, and especially for a family which is experiencing some internal conflict, even the simplest of situations can become overwhelming at this time of the year,” said Dr. Benjamin Liptzin, chair, Department of Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center.
Experts recommend that when faced with stressful situations or thoughts at any time of the year, such as the aggravation of long checkout lines, deep breathing will help you to focus and compose yourself.
Also, try several preventive strategies such as eating right, reducing your caffeine intake, limiting alcohol intake, participating in regular physical activity, practicing daily relaxation techniques, and getting enough sleep to help you better handle those extra stresses that may occur, especially during the holidays.
Also, remember during the hectic times to take a minute to laugh. According to researchers, laughter is a great medicine to relieve stress because:
- it improves breathing by allowing the lungs to expand and take in more oxygen.
- it reduces blood pressure by improving circulation and speeding delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
- it heightens mental function by increasing delivery of oxygen and production of a hormone that improves alertness and memory.
- it helps to relieve pain by increasing delivery of oxygen and the level of endorphins, the pain-killing chemicals produced by the brain.
So take a minute when you are tired and stressed, and have a good, old-fashioned belly laugh. You will feel better and get a great energy boost.