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Holiday stress? Relax—doctor’s orders!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song goes.  And, it can truly be wonderful, but we all know it can be extremely stressful.  Holiday stress is all around us from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.  Unfortunately, it is not wrapped up in beautiful bows and festive boxes.  It either hits you like a hurried mall shopper, or it sneaks up on you as quiet as the T’was the Night Before Christmas mouse. Holiday stress can often lead to relapses of TMJ symptoms.  You can find yourself grinding your teeth in a long checkout line at an over-crowded department store, interrupting your usual sleep rituals because of long holiday parties, and experiencing the return of neck and jaw pain from poor posture and tension from long or late night drives to friends and relatives. During this busy season, make sure that you take time to relax, so that your body and mind are not going a million miles per hour all the time.  Try to schedule two to three, 15 minutes breaks per day, where you sit down, breathe deep and calm your mind.  On top of this, also make sure to schedule some nice relaxing activities for yourself throughout next few weeks.  Whether it’s family night by the fire, or a nice relaxing spa day for yourself, this can go a long way to help reduce the stress of the season. Don’t get all “kerbobbled.”  You owe it to yourself to enjoy every aspect and time of the season.  And, if you’re experiencing stronger symptoms, remember we are always here to help get you back to living pain free. The Doctor will free you now. Dr. Francis O’Day