When the holidays come around, so does the stress. Attending all the parties and buying gifts puts strain on a budget. Plus, traveling this time of year is a nightmare. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays without some family drama. Put it all together with shorter days and seasonal affective disorder and it’s a wonder anyone makes it out of December alive. But you can survive the season this year with these helpful tips on how to keep stress levels down throughout the holidays.
Surviving off junk food and Christmas cookies isn’t going to fuel your body properly in order to handle the holidays. Junk food triggers your brain to think it’s being nourished when all you’re consuming is empty calories. Your body get just enough to keep going, but not going well. Eating things full of saturated fat, sugar, and caffeine leads to lethargy, moodiness, and weight gain. In addition to junk food, alcohol (which can be found in abundance throughout the holidays) can also make it more difficult for your body to function and exacerbate stress.
On the other hand, eating wholesome, fresh foods will actually help reduce stress. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fatty acids, and whole grains helps balance your blood sugar levels and keeps your energy up naturally. Your brain functions at its highest level and you can get through the day in a better mood.
Spend Time with a Four-Legged Friend
With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget to take time out to spend with your dog or other family pets. Not only will he appreciate the attention, but playing with your pup an actually benefit your health. Pets promote a positive mood and reduce stress. Taking him for a walk helps you both get some exercise in (as well as vitamin D boosting sunlight). If your dog likes being around people, you can also have him tag along with you to family functions. There is no better buffer for drama (“not in front of the dog!”). Pets are also great listeners– after a stressful day you can vent all you want and he’ll take it all in without judgment.
For those times when the anxiety monster rears its ugly head and you just want it to leave, turn to homeopathic remedies for relief. Homeopathy helps treat symptoms of stress by stimulating parts of the body that encourage healing, repair and resilience. The remedies are made from natural sources and available over the counter. Popular remedies that treat stress include:
- Arsenicum album
- Bryonia alba
- Calcarea carbonica
The philosophy behind homeopathic medicine is that when a person is sick, their body, mind, and spirit all suffer. To treat problems like stress, which manifests in the mind, a homeopathic expert may refer people to physical practices like yoga. Yoga helps people relieve stress through gentle exercise, meditation, and breathing that bring balance to a person. People who practice homeopathic remedy believe that balancing a person’s “vital force” allows the body, mind, and spirit to heal themselves and symptoms of illness thus disappear.
The holidays are a recipe for stress. Things like the financial strains, social obligations, and the inevitable drama can make even the jolliest person feel like a Grinch sometimes. To help beat stress, be sure to avoid junk food and alcohol in favor of wholesome fare that will nourish your body. Take time out to spend with your pet — animals like dogs can help relieve anxiety and boost your mood. Finally, if you need a little something extra, look into homeopathic remedies that treat your body, mind, and spirit.
written by Henry Moore of Fit Well Traveler