I really want to talk about stress this week because I have been off-the-charts stressed in the days leading up to Christmas.  With all the gift shopping, parties, food prep, etc., it’s been a little much for me this year. 

I remember learning about the effects of stress on your body – in my college psychology class.  Before this class I thought stress was pretty benign. But it’s not benign… it’s deadly. Chronic stress can do a major number on your body – causing diseases or exacerbating health problems you might already have.  I’m talking about things like sleep issues, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. This is some serious stuff!

I tend to handle stress by eating (preferably chocolate)… but sadly it has proven to not be a very effective stress management tool.  Being healthy is part of my weight loss commitment – and I can’t be healthy if I don’t have positive ways to deal with stress. The past two weeks have really put my stress management to the test, but here are some of the ways that I dealt with the stress of the holidays:

  • Go for a walk
  • Meditate (I do a quick 7 minutes to get centered)
  • Write in my journal
  • Call or text a friend
  • Listen to music

I don’t have this stress management thing on lock.  I have to be very aware of things that trigger me, and then double down on the awareness and take positive action.  My stress management is a work in progress, but with enough practice I know I’ll get there.

Wishing you all a stress-free New Year!


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Dr. Angela Tran