The Holidays are here! And do they ever bring a bevvy of emotions, chores, expectations and more. And all this has a big impact on your immune system. Stress can weaken your immune system, truth be told. There is in fact, a whole field of science, Psychoneuroimmunology, that studies how powerfully our minds influences our health and what these scientists are learning is that what goes on in our minds can dramatically affect our bodies. Wow!

So just how stressed are You? Many may be more stressed than they know. Anxiety, feeling time pressure, tight muscles, shifts in appetite, forgetfulness, insomnia and digestion changes are the typical signs of stress. But if you are feeling anger, low libido, forgetfulness or even changes in menstrual cycle, may indicate that you are even more stressed than you thought.

Chronic stress adds even more effects due to the hormones of stress. The more stress you feel the more you feel stressed. Your immune system is attacked when you experience these chronic stressed. But you are also at a higher risk for depression, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and anxiety. Not fun, especially when we are supposed to be having special experiences with family and friends.

What to do? Well, according to Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFP, Shaklee Chair of Medical Affairs, Health Science, & Education, there are several things we can do to reduce Holiday Stress:

1. Focus on what is important: Family and Friends are what is most important, not the perfect meal or gift.

2. Take time for yourself. Put some "me" time on your list and relax. Set realistic goals for each day and enjoy.

3. Exercise. Yeah, I know it is cold outside, snowing or raining, but get moving. Do chores around the house that keep you moving, go to the gym, work out to your favorite cd. Not only will your mood lift, but you immune system will get the boost it needs and your energy will rise.

4. Breathe.  Do some deep breathing exercises, prayer, meditation or just quiet time. Deep breathing is quick way to send your whole body a message to relax!

5. Eat right! You watch your eating other times of the year and now it not the time to abandon those good habits. Sugary treats don't do much but add weight and mess with your blood sugar levels!

Since stress can have a powerful affect on your immune system, what we do each day can support your immune system or hurt it. Even though reducing stress takes time and work, it is worth it to have a stronger immune system!  

I try to make the Holidays as simple as possible by shopping year round and limiting my activities during the Holidays.  As a Shaklee Supplement user, I also take several products that help keep the stress at bay and the immune system stronger.  From Shaklee's Stress Relief Complex to the NutriFeron immune boost, I stay healthier.  And of course I use the Shaklee 180 Weight Management products to keep the weight at bay!  

Stay well.

Information sourced from Shaklee Health Wise article by Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFP, Shaklee Chair of Medical Affairs, Health Science, & Education




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