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Holiday Stress Busters

The Holiday season is intended to bring peace & joy, goodwill toward men. Why do we allow stress to steal from those blessings? Distress can shake the body into dis-ease. Chronic stress does not do your health any favors. In fact, you will likely notice symptoms arising within weeks if not days, if you are in the midst of a negative, distressing situation. Common side effects of stress are:

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Fatigue or insomnia

  • Lack of concentration/forgetfulness

  • Hypertension

  • Inflammation & body pain

  • Depression

  • Skin issues, such as hives, rashes, breakouts

  • Anxiety

  • Heart palpitations

  • Weight gain or weight loss

When the body goes through a stressful event, cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline are released. This is meant to protect the body, to basically put us into 'survival mode.' Temporarily, this set up works very well. However, if this cycle endures, you will literally experience an overload of stress hormones, which will create a toxic-like effect in your systems. This is NOT where you want to live. Let's discuss 5 Holiday Season Stressors and the correlating Remedies for these common culprits...

5 Common Stressors + Remedies

1. Vitamin D deficiency. This is very common in the winter months for those who live in the northern hemisphere. A simple blood test can inform you if you are low. The minimum range is 35 ng/mL. I like to see people at 50 ng/mL for optimal wellness. My family & I take 5,000 IUs daily of vitamin D3 from October to April. Common symptoms of lack of vitamin D are low energy, low mood, depression, dry skin, and muscle aches. Vitamin D supplements:

2. Finances. High fuel bills, Christmas gifts, and winter maintenance fees (i.e. plowing) can add up quickly. This is a tough one to conquer since financial situations vary greatly. However, here are a few possible methods to ease the pain of financial frustration: Do a re-gift party the day after Xmas with your family instead of having to buy every single person a present. Do cards only with a small $10 gift certificate in it. Buy something in bulk (discount price) and make it a 'one for everyone gift', create homemade gifts such as baked goods, ornaments, knit hats & mittens, make essential oil perfumes or massage oil blends, or handmade jewelry.

3. Muscle pain & arthritis flare-ups. Since the cold can make joints stiff, sugar from holiday treats can stir up inflammation, and lack of vitamin D can result in body pain, winter can be welcoming to arthritis. What can we do, since we can't change the weather? Well, besides moving to Florida (which I have contemplated), here are ways to manage this stressor: Consume less sugar, get a monthly massage, do yoga/stretching daily, take a supplement of Turmeric (Curcumin) and Boswellia, & use an infrared sauna.


4. Loneliness and/or stressful family dynamics. These are two issues from each end of the spectrum. Many people miss loved ones this time of year. Support is crucial in caring for one's mental/emotional self. What to do to healthily fill the void of loneliness? Join a community club, such as a book club at your library or take classes at the local college (many schools offer military or senior discount rates or programs for 60+), reach out to a friend for a visit over tea/coffee, make a phone call to a friend who is on your mind. As far as crazy family dynamics, that is another post in itself. For now, breathe, and keep a calm atmosphere. Diffuse issues by speaking the truth in love with respect.


5. Immunity. Cold and flu season never fails to arrive. We all need to be on the defense so we do not get hit with bronchitis, ear or sinus infections, or another nasty ill. Do your part for self-care with these very basic essentials: 32+ oz. of pure water intake daily, take a vitamin C supplement daily, and get 8-10 hours of sleep each night so the body can go into repair & restore mode. Try these resources:

How do you manage stress during this special season?

In Grace,











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