Easy Stress-Reducing Tips to Fight the Holiday Stress

stress-reducing tips

Are the holidays fun or just filled with stress for you? Well, here are my top stress-reducing tips to prevent stress and feel great.

My Top Stress-Reducing Tips

Most people feel as though they are on a roller coaster from now until New Year’s Day. How can you feel calm, not gain an average of 5 pounds, and still have fun in the process? These tips may help you fight the holiday stress and keep you in good shape.

Stress-reducing tips #1: Reduce your stress response

This one can be easier said than done but I’ve got some easy tips that just may help. There are several things you can do to reduce your stress response. The first and most basic one I like is to stop and breathe. Yep, it’s that simple. When you feel yourself breathing in a stressful way, such as very shallow in only the upper portion of your chest, stop and notice it. Sometimes you may even catch yourself holding your breath. At that moment, stop whatever you are doing and take 5 deep belly breaths. Actually put your hand on your belly and inhale while feeling your belly rise and fill with oxygen. Now release the breath fully and completely. Do this 5 times and you will start to engage the parasympathetic (relaxing) nervous system. Or try the 4:7:8 BREATH. Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold your breath for 7, and then exhale through our mouth for a count of 8. Do 4-5 rounds of this and you’ll be feeling calmer immediately.

If you enjoy regular meditation, yoga, exercise, dancing or just walking in nature, then all of these activities can reduce your stress response. Pick something you love and that brings you joy and figure out how to fit it into your daily life. That could mean just 5 minutes of meditation or working out per day. Don’t make it a big deal or you’ll never get started.

Stress-reducing tips #2: Herbal Assistance

For holiday situational stress, I like KAVA and ASHWAGANDHA. So, kava is great for stress management and anxiety that is situational. It’s a mild sedative so it calms down your nervous system similar to placing a weighted blanket on your body. It will reduce muscle tension. So if you’re feeling all tense and tight, this will help you relax. As a side note, it also helps with migraines, as well as, tooth and earaches. If you can’t calm down your mind to sleep, then add a little valerian with the kava and it will calm down those crazy mind thoughts that keep you awake. It’s also great for MENOPAUSAL stress.

Ashwagandha is for you if you are wound up in general and now are extra tight during the holiday situational stress. This can be added to kava to reduce your cortisol levels and help with that wired and tired feeling. Both of these herbs work quickly to calm you down but don’t worry, they will not make your sleepy or impaired your ability to work or drive. They will just leave you feeling super chilled and relaxed.

If you’d like to try either of these herbs, let me know and I’ll order some for you.

Stress-reducing tips #3: Eat regular, balanced meals

Start your day with breakfast within 1 hour of rising and include protein in that and every meal throughout the day. If you need a snack, pair it with protein. So an apple goes with nuts, nut butter, or cheese. Eating within 1 hour of rising gets your blood sugar in a normal range and will help your energy throughout the day. Studies have shown that people who eat a protein breakfast eat 80% less calories throughout the day. Many of those extra calories are consumed between dinner and bedtime. So eat at least 3, well-balanced meals through the day that include protein and lots of veggies. Keep refined carbohydrates to a minimum as they can trigger sugar cravings, which can be a very slippery slope.

If you have a sugar craving, I would suggest the herb Gymnema and if you have issues with digestion, take a digestive enzyme with each meal. If you’d like to try either of these herbs, let me know and I’ll order some for you.

Stress-reducing tips #4: Get enough sleep

What is the right amount? It’s more than most people get, 7-9 hours is ideal. Many people are running around sleep deprived and using massive amounts of caffeine to make it through the day.

Sleeping the right hours is also essential to balance. You have an internal clock whereby there is an ideal time to sleep, eat, have sex and have a bowel movement. Working in sync with your internal clock will help you feel well-rested, digest your food better and help your mood. Getting to bed between 9-10 pm is ideal.

I know, you might think that sounds crazy, but my suggestion is to start getting ready for bed an hour before you actually want to sleep. Have a wind-down routine, lower the lights and get off the electronics. If you are a night owl, then just start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier per WEEK. Make it a slow transition and you will reap the benefits of a restful night’s sleep.

Caffeine can take about 12 hours to be processed through your body. So keep the coffee consumption before 11 am. Get up between 5-6 am. Start your day with a cup of warm lemon water and that will get your bowels moving. Then have breakfast between 7-9 am and dinner before 7 pm. By the way, the ideal time for sex is 7-9 pm. I knew you were wondering that.

Stress-reducing tips #5: Make a Plan

Plan your meals in advance and shop for the week. Prep all your food, like washing veggies and cutting them for easy snacking, before putting the groceries away. This will reduce the daily stress of what to cook for dinner and what to pack for lunch. If you celebrate holidays with gift-giving, schedule shopping, and gift wrapping in advance. Waiting until the 11th hour only adds to your stress levels. Think about shopping on your lunch break or some other way to work it into your day. Make a list of gifts and just buy 1 or 2 per week or every few days. Better yet, shop online and have them sent directly already wrapped.

Stress-reducing tip #6: Schedule downtime and fun time

Remember that even good events can be stressful. When you are busy jumping from holiday party to cocktail celebration then to dinner with friends all within a short period of time, there is no time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. Actually schedule time off for yourself. Put it on the calendar and hold the space just like any other commitment. When you do take time for yourself, do something relaxing. Watch a funny movie, take a bath, take a walk in nature, don’t use the time to catch up on errands or paying bills.

Where is the potion, you ask?

As promised herbal cocktails. Thank you Charlotte Keikel! Get ready because you’re gonna LOVE IT!

KAVA COLADA, The Healthy Herbal Cocktail

Recipe #1

A can of organic, full fat coconut milk
1 bag frozen organic pineapple
a piece of banana (optional)
8 Kava Forte tablets from MediHerb, ground into a powder in a coffee grinder or crushed by hand with a mortar and pestle
1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract (optional)

Recipe #2

A can of organic, full-fat coconut milk
1 can of crushed, canned organic pineapple
A cup frozen strawberries, blueberries or mangos (optional)
8 Kava Forte tablets from MediHerb, ground into a powder in a coffee grinder or crushed by hand with a mortar and pestle
1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract (optional)

For both recipes, combine all ingredients in a blender. Once combined, pour into a quart jar. If not immediately consumed, store in the refrigerator. When ready to drink, shake well, pour into a wine glass, and garnish with fresh strawberries.
You can adjust the number of kava tablets for the portion sizes you serve. The proportion is 1 Kava Forte tablet for every 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of the mixture. Both recipes are delicious! Enjoy!

 

If you need help with any of this, I’m here to support and guide you. Have a great week. Donna

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