Dr. Sharolyn Dihigo, DNP, RN, CPNP // Dec 02, 2017

The holidays can be a stressful time for most women, but dealing with hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, and weight gain can take the merry right out of your holidays. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays during the change:

1. Make a list and check it twice!

Make a holiday list of what needs to be done, then prioritize your list.  Are all of these items essential? Can anything be crossed off and considered non-essential?  Perhaps some of these items could be shared with other family members – don’t forget to ask others to pitch in and help.

If you are accustomed to making the entire holiday meal by yourself, perhaps this year could be different.  Offer to make the main dish then ask others to bring desserts and side dishes.

Or instead of buying individual presents for everyone, start a gift exchange and buy for one person - spend less time in crowded malls, lines, and stressing out over the “perfect” gift!

2. Make some time for yourself!

Taking time to recharge is essential during the holidays and for managing stress.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself:  making time for a brisk walk, continuing your usual exercise routine, attending a yoga class, getting a massage or having a cute holiday pedicure for your toes.  Exercise and relaxation are keys to surviving stressful days.

3. Don’t skimp on sleep!

Make it a priority to get adequate sleep.  Irritability and mood swings are hard enough to manage without sleep deprivation taking its toll. Sleep is a critical time for your body to do its reparative and restorative work so don’t skimp on the Zzzzs.  Most individuals need 7-8 hours of sleep.

4. Do skip the alcoholic beverages!

Alcohol is not only loaded with calories, but it also causes hot flashes! Even one alcoholic beverage or one glass of wine can turn up your metabolic thermometer, and you’ll begin to feel its roasting effects.  Alcohol also causes weight gain and increases your risks of breast cancer.

Although we all think we are superhuman and can do absolutely everything by ourselves, why do we continue to try to welcome this much stress into our lives? Prioritize, delegate, and take some time for yourself so you can enjoy the holidays!

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