Stress and the Holidays

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Holiday shopping (including the hardest part that may be deciding WHAT to buy).  Wrapping Gifts.  Paying for gifts.  Decorating your house.  Cleaning your house for holiday visitors.  Sending Christmas cards.  Holiday baking.  Meal preparation.  Struggles with excited children.  A health challenge that is slowing you down.  Dressing for holiday gatherings.  Strained relationships with family members.  The list goes on.

There are many things that can cause us stress around the holidays.  There are also positive, helpful things that can relieve that stress.  Solutions that work!

Making lists and spreading out the tasks that need done can help alleviate being overwhelmed with too much to do.  When we write things down, and make a time plan for accomplishing all that we want to do, it can relieve our minds of the pressure of not knowing how everything will get done.

This year is a good year to simplify the holidays in terms of the material aspect.  With the economy in the state that it is, why not reduce spending and even preparations.  Wouldn’t the holidays be just as special, and maybe even more so, if we focused more on just gathering together and spending time together with our loved ones?

When we recognize signs of stress in ourselves or in our children, such as irritability, crankiness, and changes in sleep patterns, we can take steps right away to address them.  Exercise is an excellent way to relieve tension in adults and burn off kids’ excess energy.

Having a positive attitude and trying not to worry about ‘everything’ are two mental ways to reduce stress.  When you are thinking positive thoughts, it’s harder to be stressed!  Meditation and other stress relieving, or calming, activities help many people manage stress.

Nutrition can play a huge role in how we feel.  That’s because almost every organ system in the body is affected by stress.  If we target those organ systems with nutrition, we can get fantastic outcomes.

Fat and sugar can both cause havoc in our bodies and with our moods.  Stress-induced weight gain usually goes to the abdominal area – which for many of us causes even more stress!  The scientific reason is that chronic stress causes elevated blood cortisol levels, that in turn cause insulin resistance that prevents blood sugar from getting distributed to the body’s cells, to be used for energy, as it should be.

Stress depletes vitamins and other nutrients in our bodies which gives more reason than ever to supplement our daily diets so that we are taking in more of our essential vitamins and minerals.  Many people are deficient in these vitamins and minerals and then to lose more from stress can put our health at even more risk.

Our goal is to have more of the following:  better sleep, less anxiety, better focus and concentration, improved immune resistance (to stay well), reduced cravings for sugar or alcohol, increased energy, better muscle tone and strength, and an overall better sense of well-being.  Nutrition can help us get there.

From B-Complex (the happy vitamin) to Vitamin C, and calcium, we can choose brands that will guarantee that our bodies are getting consistent potency of these ingredients so that they can do their job, providing safe and pure products that deliver the measurable results we are looking for, and that make a difference in our lives.

Adaptogens, in terms of herbs that benefit bodies experiencing stress, can re-charge the main body system that responds to stress – the adrenal glands.  These adapotogens help our bodies relieve the chemical imbalances that stress will cause, and normalize our body functions.  They include ginseng, ashwaganda, L-Tyrosine, Beta-sitosterol, and L-theanine.

To learn more about nutrients that can help stress, visit Stress Relief Nutrition and the Happy Vitamin.

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