Here are seven ways to manage stress and protect your heart during this time of year:
1. Eat and drink sensibly. Overeating and drinking alcohol don’t help you deal with stress; they add to the problem.
2. Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great stress reliever and is also good for your heart in other ways. Physical activity increases chemicals in your brain that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
3. Get enough sleep. Adults typically need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When you’re busy, it’s easy to skimp on sleep to get in everything you have to do, but too little sleep can leave you less prepared to deal with the demands being placed on you at this time of year.
4. Keep things in perspective. There’s no reason to fret needlessly over things you can’t control. Learn to take a deep breath and let things slide. Focus on what’s important and let go of the other stuff.
5. Get organized. Taking some time up front to plan and organize can save you time, worry and hassles.
6. Relax. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization, meditation and listening to soothing music are some relaxation methods you can try. Take a walk, read a book or color. The key is to relax your mind and your body to relieve the stress.
7. Laugh. Focus on the joy of the season and the things that make you smile. Laughter is a great stress reliever.
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