Disclosure note: You may see links on this site that lead to Amazon as well as other quality companies. When you click on some links, I may receive a small fee at no extra cost to you which helps me to keep this site running. I appreciate your trust in me when you click these links.

It's the Most Stressful Time of Year...But Be of Good Cheer!!

Tips to de-stress during the holidays

Ok, it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but many of us tend to go for perfection, which translates to the most stressful time of the year. 

Added to that, or maybe actually it’s because of that, it’s also the time of year for more heart attacks and strokes.

So what if we have to watch our blood pressure! 
The perfect gift for each person needs to be found, bought & wrapped, there are all the get-togethers to plan and to attend, and let’s not forget all the goodies there are to enjoy!

Family holiday get-togethers... fun or stressful?As I write this, I know that I have to take the turkey out of the freezer for Thanksgiving and start baking some of the goodies for that special dinner.
 I’m late getting a birthday gift out, and my to-do list is probably not going to get smaller!

But I also remember what happened to me the evening after I was totally stressed out because of a new bill from a nursing home that came a year and a half after my mother passed. I ended up at the hospital with signs of a potential stroke.

Perfection Feels Great... Until the Stress Kicks In!

Stress is a HUGE factor in holiday heart attacks and strokes. Just keep in mind, guys, that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed. In fact, others probably will think you’ve done a great job, and appreciate your efforts.

  • Making a list of what you need to do somehow alleviates some of the stress by letting you know that "to-do" item is on a list & you don’t have to remember it.
  • Then, since you probably won’t get everything done, just look at the list and pick one thing you aren’t going to do. Cross it off.
  •  Focus on one thing at a time
  • Or better yet – delegate!

Help Your Blood Pressure Survive Your Delicious Holiday Feast

I want to touch on one other thing you do want to watch, and that’s the amount of sodium you eat. I’ll do another post on sodium in a couple of days, but just know that it directly affects your blood vessels and blood flow, which = blood pressure.
Tips for Surviving Holiday Meals with High Blood Pressure
If you're cooking, try to buy some low-sodium foods. For example, the green beans for that popular green bean recipe...
Buying low-sodium beans isn't going to taste a bit different + you have more control over how much sodium is in the recipe.
Also, wash the beans to get rid of as much sodium as possible before putting the dish together. 
The dish still has lots of sodium - but just have enough to know you enjoyed it at the holidays... so you can be there to enjoy the next holiday! 
If you’re not sure how much sodium is in a food dish, just eat a small portion. Be sure to drink plenty of water also, since it helps move the sodium through your body.

Another Tip

One more idea to help keep your blood pressure in check is to enjoy a couple snacks before the appetizers and dinner begin. 

That way your body can get an early start on the potassium/sodium balancing act that can help keep your blood pressure in the healthy zone.

These can be a couple celery sticks or other veggies to snack on. My daughter always makes serves a platter filled with celery, blueberries, raspberries, and of course some chips, etc for the non-blood-pressure-watching people in the family.

If you like oatmeal, you might even start your day with a bowl with cinnamon and raisins (if you're a raisin fan). 

Oatmeal is my go-to whenever I even pick up on a hint that my blood pressure is going a bit high.

All that being aid... Enjoy the holidays!