December marks the start of the holiday season; spending time with family and friends, Christmas shopping, volunteering, fun winter activities, decorating your home to perfection and finding just the right bow to place on your presents under the tree. Fun, right? Yes . . . unless you’ve committed to three different ugly sweater parties and booked yourself into oblivion. While this time of year is typically a time to rejoice, many can begin to feel overwhelmed. Ensure tidings of joy with the below tips:

  1. Stretch away the stress. Stretching helps relieve muscles and relax your mind, which can improve your overall health. No time? Here’s a simple stretch you can do anywhere: Stand up straight with your feet together and hands clasped above your head (arms straight). Then bend to each side for several seconds breathing deeply. Doesn’t that feel better?
  2. Work off that wassail. Exercising is already known to be a great stress reliever since it causes the body to release endorphins. It also allows you to take a break from your busy schedule and clear your head.
  3. Do you wanna build a snowman? Okay, building a snowman might be a bit of a stretch, but getting out in the fresh air and sunshine will definitely help. Sunshine is a proven mood-booster. Plus, the Vitamind D from sunlight is essential for bone health.
  4. Put the “No” in Noel. Repeat after us, “It is okay to say no.” We often get caught up in trying to attend every event and not wanting to let anyone down. However, you’re not helping anyone if you’re spread to thin, overworked and over stressed. Prioritize your events/activities and focus on the items at the top of the list. You’ll be able to provide your full time and attention and actually enjoy yourself. We promise this won’t land you on the naughty list.
  5. Relax and remember what the holidays are all about. Don’t worry if Sandy’s gingerbread house is an exact replica of the White House complete with tiny Christmas lights. Don’t worry if you didn’t get that bonus to build your dream pool in the backyard (right, Clark Griswold?). Enjoy your family and friends. Savor those Christmas cookies. Take in all the sights and sounds of the season and just breathe.

As 2016 comes to an end, we want to thanpexels-photo-253208k all of our wonderful patients for allowing us to provide their orthopedic care. We hope everyone has a very happy holiday! If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us at 618-288-9460. Please visit www.c4ao.com for more information.

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