Holidays and stress

by Theresa Greenwell
International Science

Holidays are a very stressful time for most of us. Normal activities like working, paying the bills, feeding the family, keeping in shape or even driving the kids around can often leave us feeling run down and stressed. When holiday activities are added to everyday activities, many find that their health, mood and even sleep are affected. Stressors can lead to
headaches, insomnia, weight loss or gain, irritability or anxiety, inability to concentrate or think clearly, digestive or bowel problems, as well as a lack of interest or pleasure in holiday festivities.

There are several things that can be done to reduce holiday stress.  Setting realistic gift giving and shopping goals is a good start, while setting a budget can help to keep your finances healthy. Attending every party that you are invited to sounds good in theory but can be a strain on you time.  Concentrating on the ‘now’ rather than everything else that needs done can help you to slow down and stay positive. Finally, eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep and exercising at least a few times a week can help to keep energy levels high and stress low.

Nutritional supplementation can also be beneficial and can help by improving sleep, promoting relaxation and providing more energy. Adaptogens such as ashwagandha and eleuthero root are great for improving the body’s response to stress and by encouraging relaxation without losing focus. Lemon balm and tryptophan are both good for those individuals who may be experiencing sleeping problems and can help the body to better handle the anxiety that comes with the holidays. A multivitamin can provide the extra vitamins and minerals that are needed to get through long shopping trips and a good B-complex can give that extra boost of energy to keep going.

During the holidays, as with any time during the year, it is important for all of us to eat right, get plenty of sleep and exercise in order to keep our bodies and minds healthy. This holiday season try to slow down, set reasonable goals and stay positive in order to make this the wonderful time of year it should be.