4 Must-Follow No Holiday Stress Tips

Nov 17, 2022

ProActive Physical Therapy

by ProActive Physical Therapy

The holiday season is finally upon us, and while we may not expect a white Christmas in Tucson, you may start to feel the effects of stresses that come this time of year. Our physical therapy experts understand that for many people, the holiday season comes with added psychological and physical stress. Follow these helpful tips and gift-wrapping hacks to ensure you get the most rest with minimal stress and injury during your holidays!

Man outside stretching

  1. Stretch it out. Psychological stress often results in tight muscles. To combat this, take time to stretch slowly and correctly. This will bring a feeling of relaxation and relief to get rid of the tension your muscles were holding.
  2. Give yourself a break. Anxious at the thought of your whole family together under your roof? Relax! Take the dog on a walk, go on a jog, or go to the gym. Make time for yourself to do some activity that gets you out of your head and allows you to release some pent-up energy. Physical exercise also triggers the release of endorphins in the body, resulting in naturally improving your mood.
  3. Watch what you eat! Many people tend to overeat when they are stressed, but this is not a good idea. Healthy eating fuels your mind and body, while sweets may make you feel worse. Be mindful of your food intake, especially during the holidays and remember that exercise and healthy foods will help with stress much more than pie!
  4. Assess your stress. Do you suffer from physical discomfort from your stress? Consider visiting a ProActive physical therapist for treatment options like trigger point dry needling, which has been shown to improve symptoms like muscle tightness and spasms.

Don’t Let Gift Wrapping be a Pain in the Neck (or back!)

Woman holding a gift next to a Christmas tree.

Here are a few helpful tips on proper posture when gift wrapping—all to work within the limitations that we all have in our homes.

Wrapping presents on the bed. The problem is the bed is too low and keeps you from bending properly. One of the best ways to give your back some support is to stagger your feet and put one knee on the edge of the bed. The knee is then used to support your body weight, and you don’t have as much strain on the back.

Sitting on the floor. An important thing to do before wrapping presents this way is to stretch your legs first. The hamstrings, hip adductors, and hip rotators (back of the leg, inner thigh, and buttock) are often overstretched and painful after you wrap this way. Additionally, ensure to sit upright, not let your back roll into a “C” position or slump down, and keep scissors and tape within reach.

Gift wrapping table with paper, ribbon and tape.

Create a gift-wrapping station. Have a spare room, or maybe you’re an avid crafter? Use this space to set up a gift-wrapping station. Ensure the table you use is high enough that you don’t need to hunch over when wrapping. And don’t forget to slip on some supportive shoes while standing—no bare feet or cozy slippers.

Remember to be mindful when gift wrapping. If you feel sore, tense, or uncomfortable, schedule a free injury assessment with the ProActive team to get you feeling better. ProActive Physical Therapy provides quality, hands-on physical therapy to patients throughout the greater Tucson area. Our highly trained staff has expertise in many areas and can help you with any pain or injury you might be suffering from. Happy holidays!

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