As previously printed in Washington Life Magazine on December 2013.
“The most wonderful time of the year” is on its way. There are many great reasons to celebrate. But at times, that celebrating can be stressful when you add work deadlines, doctor appointments, family commitments, gatherings and holiday planning to an everyday life that can already be hectic.
Stress can be experienced in a variety of ways—headaches, aches and pains, sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, impatience and anger, hormones gone wild and a lowered immune system. No sleep, no energy, feeling sick and ready to take it out on the nearest person. It’s a wonder we can enjoy the holidays at all.
The first step is recognizing what initiates the stress. Finding an outlet to relieve it could include exercise, a hobby or just relaxing, including yoga or meditation. Even a massage or chiropractic adjustment can help to relax any of the nerve pain and tightness accumulating in the body. Become aware of these triggers so they can be caught before the stress spiral begins.
A few stress-stoppers include: taking a few deep breaths; walking away; getting organized; counting to 10 before speaking; practice giving—a hug, a few kind words or just a smile.
Jumping to conclusions can be detrimental to our stress levels. It’s important to process the issue at hand with as clear a mind as possible before assuming the worst. We can’t control everything, although we can practice a calming technique in order to maneuver our way through stressful situations.
Incorporating a few supplements into your stress-relieving routine can also help. For those sleepless nights and aches and pains, try a little magnesium for muscle relaxation. A good vitamin B complex, the happy vitamins, can help neurotransmitters fire in the brain boosting your mood. To keep your immune system healthy, a probiotic and vitamin D work wonders. Ashwaganda and ginseng can help balance the body’s hormones.
Everyone deals with stress in their lives. How we deal with it is what determines the outcome of our overall attitude and health. Periodically, stop and take a new look at some of the things you may take for granted—family, pets, maybe the new pair of shoes you just purchased, all the way down to the two feet you walk on and the very breath you take. You will be amazed by what a new prospective on life can do for you.