written by: Laura Mierzwa, RHN, & Elysia Arseneau, staff writer
The Christmas and holiday season is here, as are holiday dinners, work parties, social activities and gift giving! All the hustle and bustle leaves us all feeling excited and happy about the holiday season... right?
Well, not quite: if you're feeling feeling less than enthused about the busiest time of the year, you're not alone. For many of us, the holiday season can be stressful, exhausting, and quite frankly can leave us in a mood that is less than pleasant for our loved ones to deal with. Between running to and from family dinners, budgeting for gift giving and having to deal with that one family member who seems to annoy us just a wee bit (we all have one!), the stress can pile up quickly. When you're dealing with all of that and then something like tangled Christmas lights happens, it can all seem very overwhelming.
But there is hope, promise! Incorporate at least one of these tips into each day this holiday season, and watch the stress melt away.
1. Breathe deeply
Take a deep breath in through your nose - right now. Hold it for 3-6 seconds, and slowly release from the mouth. Repeat this for 10 breaths. Deep breathing is excellent for acute stressful situations, for falling asleep, to provide mental breaks throughout the day and for relieving headaches.
Take it to the next level by rubbing a drop or two of essential oils between your hands and inhaling. Try using peppermint, eucalyptus, orange or lavender essential oils to help with stress-reduction.
2. Connect with nature
Research in the field of environmental psychology has shown that connecting with nature reduces stress. Put away your phone, turn off the TV, and go for a walk on your own or with a loved one. Try getting outside for 30 minutes each day to promote stress reduction. It’s also a great way to soak up some vitamin D! (Though there isn't much of that essential hormone in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter, so a vitamin D supplement is recommended.)
Other ways of connecting with nature include outdoor gardening, looking at your indoor plants, spending time with pets/animals, or gazing at a water feature (with moving water) for a few minutes. You can also open your blinds and windows to allow sunlight and natural air to flow through your home, which freshens it up and gives it a more relaxing atmosphere.
Contrary to what many people believe about meditation, it's not all about sitting on a pillow cross-legged while chanting! Some people choose to do that for their meditation practice, but meditation is about being in the moment and taking time to ground yourself.
To achieve this, get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on the present moment and on your breath. Every time your mind drifts away, notice your thoughts and gently go back to concentrating on your breathing. Starting with as little as 5 minutes per day has been shown to reduce stress. There are many great, scientific reasons to start today!
4. Take the right supplements
Magnesium (like Mega Mag or Mega Mag 200), B vitamins, and Phosphogabamine are key supplements for helping you deal with short-term stress. Are you unsure of where to start because you don't know what your body needs? Read on...
5. Get the expert help you need
Stress is our body's way of responding to the world. It's not always a bad thing, but too much of it for long periods of time can be harmful to our health. There are biochemical reasons why some people are more susceptible to stress, or are less able to recover from stressful situations. Every person is different and every situation is different, so it's best to speak with an expert.
NutriChem's clinics offer comprehensive testing to find out exactly what your body may be missing that's making it difficult for you to deal with stress. These imbalances could be impeding your ability to cope with stressors in your life, or perhaps they could be preventing your body from effectively utilizing and metabolizing stress hormones. Our signature Body Chemistry Balancing Test is designed to give you a close-up look at your body's biochemistry, identifying the root cause(s) of any imbalances. Get your customized treatment plan today and start living your life to the fullest!