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Holiday survival guide – a pelvic therapist’s perspective

December 2021

As the holidays approach we find ourselves bombarded with a flurry of new activities – shopping, decorating, traveling, socializing, eating and drinking different and delicious treats. But sometimes all this new activity creates stress in our bodies and impacts our pelvic function. Here are some strategies to help keep you cheery this holiday season!

HOLIDAY STRESS – so many things to do! Events to plan, parties to attend, dealing with family… Oh, the lists go on and on! An increased level of stress can cause an increase in the amount of tension in your pelvic floor causing discomfort, difficulty relaxing, urinary retention, constipation, and maybe even painful intercourse. To de-stress the pelvic floor, try deep breathing, using your ribs and your belly, and some meditation to focus on your muscles and letting them relax.

HAPPY HOUR – Holiday gatherings often mean fancy drinks. Cocktails, champagne, coffees or hot chocolates are irritating to the bladder and can trigger urinary urgency and frequency. To off-set this, try balancing every holiday drink with a glass of water to dissipate the effects of the irritants on your bladder.

HUNGER PAINS – All those parties with all that yummy food… so yummy to eat, but not always good for digestion. To avoid bloating and constipation, try eating something healthy, like a salad, before you head out to a party to cut down on the amount of rich food you eat. Also, look for the veggies and fruit at the party to add a little fiber to keep things moving. And again, drink water to help keep the bowels moving well.

HILARIOUS FRIENDS – After all the decorations, planning and shopping, you finally get to sit down with your friends and share a good laugh. But for a weak pelvic floor, this might mean some bladder leakage! Think about those pelvic floor muscles and squeeze them before you cough, laugh or sneeze!

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