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Ways to take care of the heart during holidays

Ways to take care of the heart during holidays

It is that time of the year again when people rush home to spend holidays with their loved ones. Many people eagerly wait for holidays to unwind and bond with their close friends and family members. While merrymaking and hanging out with loved ones, people also like indulging in substances like wine, beer and other booze.

As a result, such celebrations can turn stressful and adversely affect the cardiac health of an individual. During such holiday seasons, the total number of people rushed to emergency rooms (ERs) for heart attacks, heartbeats and sudden cardiac arrest incredibly increases. The following are the reasons behind the rising number of heart-related cases during holidays:

  • Emotional and physical stress – Holidays can turn stressful because of the pressure of buying presents and bearing a financial crunch, arranging parties, looking after guests and going without adequate sleep for multiple days. All this leads to the production of stress hormones like cortisol, norepinephrine and adrenaline that increase the susceptibility to heart attack by elevating blood pressure and heart rate. Stress hormones are also released because of the extreme physical exertion caused due to shopping trips and traveling.
  • Consumption of unhealthy food and alcohol – Many people associate holidays with binge and sinful eating. Additionally, some people associate holidays with indulging as much as one wants in drinking. However, eating fried and processed food and guzzling it down with alcohol can increase the level of both cholesterol and blood pressure, which can jeopardize the heart health.
  • Cold weather – The winter holidays can become merciless for those who dread cold weather. During this weather, a process known as vasoconstriction takes place that reduces the supply of blood to the heart by constricting the blood vessels. This increases the propensity of a person toward a heart attack.

Fortunately, one can decrease the chances of a heart by taking proactive measures. Some of the strategies that can help people keep heart-related problems at bay during holidays are as follows:

  • Reducing stress – This can be achieved by delegating work and assigning ownership during any celebration. Instead of a single person taking care of all the chores, it is best to delegate tasks as per an individual’s interest and ability. Secondly, if something does not go as per the plan, one should take things in stride instead of fussing over small matters and feeling worked up. Stress can also be alleviated by practicing deep breathing exercises, yoga asanas and some mindful techniques.
  • Eating healthy – One must understand that holidays are not the time to increase the waistline but to strengthen the bond with his or her loved ones. One can manage to have a gala time even with healthy eating habits. One should try consuming whole grains, fruits and vegetables to build a healthy body and mind, as well as drink lots of water to remain hydrated.
  • Staying away from alcohol – Many people cannot imagine a holiday without raising a toast. It is important that such people bring a change in their thought process and understand the repercussions of drinking. They must be aware that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dependence, which can easily transition into an addiction. In addition, one can indulge in risky behaviors, such as drunken driving, unsafe sexual practices, violence, etc.

Road to recovery

Holidays are the times to rejoice. People should look forward to such occasions for meeting their loved ones and spending quality time together. However, one can become anxious and stressed over the arrangements. Besides such mental health issues, other problems like eating unhealthy food and consuming alcohol can mar the very spirit of holidays.

While one might think that taking a drink or two is of no harm, it is important to understand that this can soon turn into dependence and eventually develop into a vicious addiction. Hence, one should avoid mixing alcohol and holidays.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol-related problems, it is recommended to seek professional help from a trusted adviser. The 24/7 Alcohol Abuse Help representatives can help patients in overcoming their addiction to alcohol by suggesting some of the state-of-the-art alcohol abuse treatment facilities. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-480-6873 for more information on the best treatment centers for alcohol addiction.