Holiday Stress Have You Seeing Red?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year-- delicious food, spirited festivities, and quality time with friends and family. Unfortunately, the weeks leading up to this special time of year can be clouded by crowds, chaos, and stress. Amidst the commotion, important things like our health often take a backseat. Our exercise routine disappears, our kitchens (and stomachs) fill up with baked goods, and our stress levels rise.

As stress mounts, you may experience headaches, exhaustion, and an increase in blood pressure, which can have negative effects on your vision. Here are some simple ways to relax and protect your eyes-- and body-- from holiday stress:

Exercise Work it in where you can.

  • When shopping, park as far away as possible for a brisk walk.
  • Bundle up and take the dog out for a fast-paced walk.
  • Take the stairs at work or stop by the gym for a quick workout on the way home.
  • Consider doing yoga or tai chi to combine exercise with relaxation.

Nutrition With all of the holiday temptations, it's hard to think about eating healthy. But there are ways to enjoy your favorite comfort foods without feeling guilty.

  • Choose lean protein (think chicken and fish) and vegetables, and avoid fried dishes and heavy sauces.
  • Holiday parties are big diet busters. Use a smaller plate and fill it up half-way.
  • Split a piece of pie with someone. Choose lighter desserts with fresh fruit and watch your portion sizes here too—one slice of pie may really be two servings.

Relax Take time for yourself and relax when you can.

  • If you tend to get sick during this time of year, take time off to recuperate.
  • When you feel the strain and stress build up, stop for a few moments and take some deep breaths.

Take care of yourself this season and you'll enjoy the holidays more! Curb your stress by keeping up with a realistic exercise routine, be conscious about your nutrition, and relax. You, and your loved ones will be glad you did!