The end of year holidays can be a wonderful time of the year where we get together with family and friends, eat delicious food, maybe drink a few festive drinks! Along with all of this, often comes some not-so-great aspects of the holidays– STRESS.

Holiday stress can come from many avenues: finding and affording gifts, finding the time to wrap gifts, cooking and baking, interacting with different family dynamics/ difficult family members, traveling, and so much more! If you are someone that deals with pelvic floor dysfunction due to tension, added stress can wreak havoc on your pelvic floor during this time. Increased stress can cause the pelvic floor to tighten and guard–which can increase pelvic/hip/back pain, urinary incontinence, constipation, bloating, and difficulty emptying out bladder and bowels.

While stress is part of life, here are some tips to help manage the stress and avoid further pelvic floor dysfunction during the holidays:

  • Breathe! Diaphragm breathing is instrumental in keeping our nervous systems and pelvic floors relaxed. Spend 1-2 minutes diaphragm breathing during stressful events.

  • Remove yourself from stressful situations, if possible. Learn to say “No” and not feel guilty about it. We can only carry so much on our plate at one time 🙂  This is the perfect time to DELEGATE our tasks to other family members or co-workers.

  • Stay hydrated! We tend to drink less water during the holidays (and sometimes drink more alcohol)… this can contribute to feeling sluggish and being more constipated. Aim for at least 70 oz of water per day during the holidays!

  • Eat fiber! Make sure to keep fiber in your diet to help avoid constipation. Your pelvic floor will thank you! The less constipated you are, the less strain on your pelvic floor. Dates, fresh fruit and veggies, chia seeds are all great options!

  • Spend 5-10 minutes/ day performing pelvic floor and hip stretches. This will help to reduce tension in your pelvic floor when added stress comes on. Happy Baby, Deep Squat, Child’s Pose are all great options!

  • Daily walks! Take 15-30 minutes each day to walk…. This will help us to de-compress, move our bodies, get some fresh air and Vitamin D. Your body will thank you! Just bundle up if it’s cold!