I saw a headline the other day warning Americans to get their Christmas shopping done early. By “early,” they, of course, mean NOW.
Did you just feel your blood pressure rise like I did? That would be the holiday anxiety kicking in earlier than ever.
And let’s face it, we are likely in for a doozy this year. Throw in a shortage of everything… a splash of COVID-related production problems… and a dash of global shipping delays… and this could turn out to be a holiday season only the Grinch could love.
Trust me, I get it. You need to be facing holiday stress and anxiety this early in the year like you need another hole in the head. It’s only September, for goodness sake. You deserve a couple more months of peace, at least.
So if you’re already feeling the angst. Or if a jump-the-gun Christmas display has managed to puncture your peace, leaving you with you a bad case of the holiday jitters. There’s some new research you need to know about.
Anxiety levels are running high
About one in 10 adults suffer from anxiety at any given time. And seniors aren’t exempt from their fair share of those feelings. In fact, this past year and a half have been particularly hard on older folks.
After all, seniors are more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Plus, they’re more likely to have been isolated during this crisis. So it would be strange if you hadn’t had to do battle with a few of your own anxiety demons.
Throw in some all-too-early holiday stress and a pandemic that never seems to end, and it’s no wonder that anxiety levels are off the charts for so many folks.
Talk to your doctor about it, and he might offer you a prescription medication. But anxiety and depression meds are often ineffective. Plus, unfortunately, these drugs may not be as safe as advertised.
In fact, in some cases, anxiety, and depression meds can be downright bad news. And for seniors, the drugs that are supposed to chase away anxiety could trigger everything from cognitive struggles to falls.
But the new study reveals another option. It’s a solution that can do the trick WITHOUT the risks. And I want you to keep an open mind and hear me out when I reveal it.
Make a move to use nature’s stress buster
It turns out, in many cases, exercise could put a stop to anxiety even BEFORE it starts.
Now I’ll come right out and admit it. I personally don’t love exercise. And you might feel the same way.
But if you’re not into that whole “no pain, no gain” thing either, keep reading because you’re in luck. The study finds you don’t have to commit to doing dozens of daily pushups or transform into a spandex-clad aerobics fanatic to make this finding work for you.
For example, I haven’t been able to use the pool during the pandemic, so I go for a daily walk instead. And the study finds that walk is all the exercise I need to start enjoying some of those mood-boosting, anxiety-busting benefits.
The researchers say being more active overall can cut the odds of developing anxiety by about 60 percent. And while the study happened to focus on skiers, it also looked at what the volunteers did with the REST of their time too. You know, like in summertime when they were far from the slopes.
And the findings were clear. It doesn’t really matter what you do to stay active. As long as you just do something, it will help you conquer the anxiety.
Team sports, skiing, swimming, or even just a daily walk will all do the trick. So lace up the sneakers and hit the pavement. And you’ll be arming yourself to tackle nearly any anxiety that comes your way.
And as a bonus, that round of regular exercise will help offset some of those upcoming holiday indulgences. A little daily movement today can take the guilt out of the “guilty pleasures” like a slice of pumpkin pie tomorrow. Of course, that is, unless there’s a pumpkin shortage this year, too.
Still need a little extra help soothing those holiday jitters? Try these 6 wacky ways to erase holiday anxiety and stress in 5 minutes. Number six makes me laugh every time I think about it.