Although it’s said to be the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season may not feel that way to everyone. A survey completed by NBC found that 45% of Americans would prefer to skip the holidays completely. There are several reasons why people may feel more stressed during this season. The pressure of holiday shopping and increased spending, preparation for travel, or attending holiday festivities may all be factors that escalate stress levels. It’s no secret that stress takes a toll on our bodies. It’s known to cause headaches, stomach pain, sleep issues, increase blood pressure and eventually lead to heart and vascular problems. Stress can also suppress your immune system making you more vulnerable to viruses and more difficult to fight infections. This is why it is very important to monitor and reduce stress during the holidays. First of all, be aware of your stress. By knowing what causes it, you can plan ahead to prevent or reduce it. It’s essential that you remember to take time for yourself during the hustle and bustle. Eating healthy, exercising, and drinking water will help you feel better and relaxed during the holidays. Lastly, don’t forget to breathe. Researchers have found that by being still and focusing on your breath for one minute per day can help reduce stress and negative effects that it has on the body. Most importantly, if you do feel ill or under the weather during the holiday hustle and bustle, do not put off seeing your medical provider. Delaying diagnoses and treatment will only add to any issues at hand, your health comes first, no matter the season.