HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Some say the holiday season is the most joyful time of the year, but sometimes it's hard to be of good cheer when you are facing stress.
The smallest things can trigger stress.
"If you have your own family, then you are dealing with having Christmas or Thanksgiving at your house, so you are dealing with cooking, making sure everything is right, getting your house cleaned," said a Huntsville shopper.
If these or other situations make you feel stressed out to the limit, particularly during the holiday season, you are not alone.
"It's estimated that nine out of every ten primary care doctor visits are related to stress," said Dr. Shealynn Buck.
Dr. Buck is a pathologist, and the national medical director for Blue Med Spa, which has a site at the Westin in Huntsville. She's also a mother, so she knows a thing or two about feeling a bit overwhelmed.
"I think often we find ourselves during the holiday season really focusing on taking care of everyone else around us. That's important, and we often find that taking care of ourselves is what we consider a luxury versus a necessity," explained Dr. Buck.
Managing stress is a necessity because it can affect your health if you don't. Dr, Buck says relaxation services such as massages, facials, and even getting your hair done are beneficial because they give you the chance to be pampered for a change.
Some people even relieve stress by exercising or shopping. But stress affects the nervous system, so that means while taking care of the outside of your body is important, you must also pay attention to what's going on inside.
Stress management seminars are quite popular at Madison Drugs Pharmacy. They focus on what's called natural support - essential vitamins needed to recharge your body's battery.
"Internally, we have all types of things that are depleted under stress, and it's beneficial if we raise levels of B vitamins, magnesium," said pharmacist Dr. Terry Wingo.
Many of these vitamins can also be found in non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, whole fruits and nuts.
"The body has the ability to repair and rebuild. We are created to be healthy and self-repairing. We just need to allow it to do it," said Dr. Wingo.
Stress is unavoidable, but managing it could possibly make the perfect gift for others this holiday season, and most importantly, for yourself.