The holiday season can be a stressful one! Extended family get together, you’re pulled in several directions with end-of-the-year work obligations, and while gift giving is a fun and rewarding experience, it can also be taxing on your finances. All of these different stressors can lead to, or exacerbate your existing, bruxism, a condition in which you loudly clench and grind your teeth both during the day and at night.
What is Bruxism?
Not sure if you already have bruxism? If you grind, clench, or gnash their teeth, often while sleeping, you may be suffering from bruxism. While mild bruxism may not require any treatment, in some people bruxism can be severe enough to cause headaches (often of migraine strength), jaw disorders, damaged teeth and other serious health problems. While there are a few different medical treatments for bruxism, you can also improve your symptoms by making a few changes this holiday season!
How to Avoid Bruxism This Holiday Season
One of the best ways to avoid developing or exacerbating your bruxism is by trying to stay as stress-free as possible. While this may seem to be easier said than done, achieving a less stressful holiday is definitely an achievable task!
The first way to stay stress-free is to stay organized. We often become stressed when multiple projects, deadlines, and obligations pile on top of each other, especially if we have no clear plan for how to complete everything on time. While keeping your schedule on your phone is a great way to keep your daily agenda at your fingertips, have a larger, physical calendar in your home or workplace is a great way to keep track of goals and projects in the long-term. Visualizing how projects and deadlines overlap can help you create a practical approach to dividing your time and successfully conquering each task!
Another great tip for avoiding stress – and the bruxism that can come with it – is to learn how to say ‘no’. We get pulled in several directions over the holiday season, and sometimes it’s important to simply remove yourself from some of these obligations for your own sanity. If you have been invited to several holiday parties, turn one or two down – evenings and weekends quickly become booked up during this time of year, and it’s important to give priority to other things as well, such as work deadlines, Christmas shopping, and some personal time for yourself!
Which leads us to the next important tip for avoiding stress: set aside some time for yourself. Leave at least one evening free per week to dedicate to doing what makes you feel good and keeps you happy: that might be having a family dinner, taking a relaxing bubble bath, or sweating it out at the gym. Turn off your cell phone, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy this well-deserved time for yourself!
A Final Tip for a Stress-Free Holiday…
One of the most basic tips for enjoying a stress-free holiday is also one of the most important: have fun! The holiday season should be filled with laughter, merriment, and good times spent with family and friends. While you may be juggling several obligations and dealing with restless kids home for winter break, extended family members taking over your spare room and couches, and major year-end projects at work, ultimately the holidays are about love and joy – not stress!
Following these tips will help you relax and give you the skills you need to tackle the holiday season like a pro, without all of the typical stress that comes with this time of year. By reducing stress you’ll be able to get your bruxism under control, or prevent it from even starting – so start enjoying your stress-free holiday season now!