Holiday Blues and Happy Feet

Many kids want to grow up so badly because they think being an adult means we can do whatever we want to.

Done laughing yet?

As an adult—given the fact you’re reading a podiatrist’s blog, we hope it’s a safe assumption you’re an adult—you know better. Life is stressful. This can certainly be true year-round, but even more so during the holiday season.

There is so much that needs to get done, right? You have to buy gifts, wrap them, bake goodies, attend holiday parties, etc. Oh, and if that’s not enough, the kids are also off of school for a couple of weeks.

All of this stress can put a damper on what is supposed to be a joyful time of the year, to the point there’s even a term to describe it – the holiday blues.

Now, when the holiday blues are already weighing you down mentally and emotionally, there’s an added kicker – stress has negative effects on the human body, including down in your feet.

How does stress affect foot health? Here are a couple of ways:

  • Dry skin – which can lead to painful cracked heels.
  • Excessive sweat – a contributing factor for fungal infections.
  • Eczema and psoriasis – stress can exacerbate these existing conditions.
  • Coldness – this is particularly true for those who have Raynaud’s syndrome.
  • Redness, swelling, and weakness – spending extended time on your feet hunting for those “perfect” gifts certainly doesn’t help.
  • Numbness or tingling – these symptoms can be attributed to anxiety, adrenaline, and hyperventilation causing blood to flow away from the lower limbs.

Whereas these might not be as directly related to foot health, stress can also tangentially affect your feet by insomnia, forgetfulness, and generalized aches, pains, and muscle cramps. The sleep deprivation from insomnia doesn’t allow the tissues in your feet to repair themselves (as they naturally do during the course of the night) and forgetfulness can be a problem if you forget to adhere to your stretching program. (And you should be following a stretching program to reduce your risk of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and other common injuries!)

So what can you do about all of this?

Well, you need to take measures to reduce your stress, including:

  • Meditate – Taking even a couple of minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing is a proven technique to help your body calm down and ease physical tension.
  • Plan ahead – Writing down the things you need to do is a big step in breaking them up into more manageable pieces. Remember, you don’t have to—and are actually unable to—do everything at once. But if you take a couple of steps at time, you can get it all done!
  • Treat yourself – We know you’re planning on doing so much for others this holiday season, but take the time to do something for you. Pamper yourself with a foot massage and—as long as you take proper precautions! —pedicure to make your feet happy and rejuvenate your soul.

At Houston Foot Specialists, we hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season – with as little stress as possible! If you need to contact our office, simply give us a call at (713) 493-7372.

Categories: Foot Care