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Beating Holiday Stress

7 Ways to Handle Holiday Stress


Updated December 12, 2009

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Let's face it, holiday stress can send anyone over the edge, particularly those who have COPD and struggle to breathe even under the most normal of circumstances. Find out how you can have a stress-free holiday with the following holiday stress tips:

1. Shop Online

Shop Online
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com
One of the best ways that COPD patients can reduce stress this holiday season is by staying away from those crazy crowded malls and doing all their Christmas shopping online. Avoiding crowds can also keep COPD patients healthier, as it reduces the risk of exposure to infection, which in turn reduces the risk of COPD exacerbation.

2. Practice Meditation

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com, user koppel delaney
Did you know that when you meditate, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure stabilizes and you use oxygen more efficiently? What more can the COPD patient ask for? Learn how to meditate to help you stay healthy and reduce stress levels during the busy holiday season.

3. Learn To Relax

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com, user miguel van dijk
Do the holidays have you so stressed out that you don't know how to relax? While relaxation may be a foreign concept to many of us, it is essential for maintaining physical and emotional health, as well as being a fantastic stress reliever. Discover ways to relax that you may not have thought of before.

4. Resolve To Exercise

Exercise and COPD
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com, user ErinsWorld
Exercise, the holidays, and COPD should go hand-in-hand. Why? Because an exercise program can help you regain a sense of control over your life and help you manage that dreaded holiday stress. If you want to start an exercise program, don't wait for the New Year -- there is no better time than now to get started.

5. Balance Your Diet

Protein Shake
Photo Courtesy Flickr.com, user 33
Did you know that your weight and the foods you eat are directly related to the amount of energy you have? That's why good nutrition is a must, especially during the holidays when stress can drain you of precious energy that is needed for other things, like helping you breathe.

6. Brush Up On Breathing Techniques

Breathing Exercises
Photo Courtesy Flickr.com, user Dada Abhijit
Do the holidays have you 'huffin and puffin'? If shopping for Christmas presents, cooking a holiday turkey or eating a holiday meal leaves you short of breath, then learning how to get the most out of your breathing should be an essential part of your COPD action plan.

7. Share Your Feelings

Share Your Feelings
Photo Courtesy Flickr.com, user alibaba
Nothing is more stressful than feeling overwhelmed and not having anyone with whom to share your feelings. Why not join the COPD Forum and meet some new friends? The COPD Forum is a great place to vent your frustrations and share your feelings in a safe and non-judgmental venue.
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