Amrita Pinto (Chiropractor) and Alana Smith (Physiotherapist) from the Athlete’s Care in the Beach came together to develop a few tried & tested ways for parents to beat the holiday stress and have a jollier holiday season with your family. 

1.       Prevent Mild Stress From Becoming High Stress: 

Stress usually has some warning signs before becoming a full-blown gong-show that is more difficult to control.

  • Check in with yourself regularly.
  • Acknowledge when you are feeling mildly stressed and take steps to control it. This awareness will also help you in future situations.     

2.       Movement is Medicine:

And can release endorphins if performed regularly. Amrita often prescribes Brugger’s Postural Relief Position to her postpartum clients, for a posture break – and stress relief.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Imagine a string is pulling you up from the top of your head, hands resting on the outside of your lap, thumbs turned outwards, chest open, shoulders back and chin slightly tucked. Hold for 5 seconds, take a few breaths in and out, then relax your posture, and repeat the sequence, daily. 

3.       Breathe it In:

Alana treats a variety of pelvic floor conditions and recommends 360⁰ breathing to many of her patients, for deep relaxation, and re-education of core activation.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Make an L-shape with your index finger and thumb and place each hand around your lower ribs on the sides.
  • As you inhale, imagine your lower ribs flaring outward and fingers separating.
  • As you exhale you should feel a slight contraction of your deep core muscles and pelvic floor muscles, as well as your fingers coming closer together. Continue for 5-10 breaths.
  • Similar to Brugger’s, do this DAILY, and anytime you feel you need a “reset.”

4.       Eat well, Sleep well, Move well and BE well:

  • Eating more vegetables and whole grains will give you lasting energy, whereas foods with high amounts of processing, caffeine, sugar and salt will not!
  • Regular heart-raising exercise is also a huge stress-reliever if performed regularly (3-4x per week). Regular exercise has also been connected with a good night’s sleep.
  • Sleep is a healing modality as well, as growth hormone is released when you sleep well, allowing your body to feel better when you wake up!

5.     Speak to a Mental Health Professional Who Can Help: 

If high stress levels leave you feeling out of control, (and with all we know about Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety, which can easily go undetected), seek professional help. Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your Family Physician, who can offer appropriate resources for you.

The best thing we can do as parents and caregivers is to take care of ourselves. Wishing you all a happy, restful holiday season!

Amrita Pinto (DC) and Alana Smith (PT) are co-founders of the Fit Pregnancy and Postpartum program at Athlete's Care in the Beach. The program is multidisciplinary, integrating both perinatal chiropractic and pelvic floor physiotherapy, and designed to prepare your body for a healthy birth and smooth recovery postpartum; focusing on returning you to postnatal exercise. Through mobility work, manual therapy, core/postural strengthening exercises and pelvic floor muscle coordination, our unique program will help support your amazing body through one of life’s greatest transitions - welcoming baby into this world! 

Click here to rewatch the Pregancy & Exercise Workshop with Amrita and Alana.