Seven Steps to Shake Seasonal Stress
Dr. Lynn Thompson DC, NMD, HMD; doTERRA Diamond Wellness Advocate #49762; AromaTouch Technique Instructor
Welcome to the Sugar Season! We truly enjoy our sweets in the United States. The Sugar Season starts at Halloween and moves through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and finally ends with Easter. Sugar Season also happens to overlap with Flu Season as well as High Stress Season. Coincidence? Nope.
Once fall and winter hit, we tend to hibernate indoors. We eat more, are less active, and are in close proximity to each other, sharing bacteria and viruses. All season we stress over low immunity, increased holiday expectations, and family activities. There is so much to do and so little time to do it!
Finances are also a major culprit of stress—another aspect of the holidays where many of us feel stretched. The number one reported “cause” for divorce is one partner’s handling of finances. Many adults have argued over money to the point of friction between a friend or family member. The issue of money can create more tension between loved ones, especially in a time of year when spending tends to be at an all time high.
All this stress has consequences.
Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, all of which are especially annoying during the holidays. The most common physical symptoms of stress include headaches, upset stomach, muscle tension, and even decreased sex drive. Mental and emotional side effects include anger, irritability, anxiety, and nervousness.
A common response to stress is loss of sleep. Stress produces surges of cortisol (the stress hormone) through your body. This hormone should be lowest at bedtime and increase in the morning when you are waking up. However, when you are stressed, how many times do you check the clock in the middle of the night and calculate how many hours you can still get in before you have to get up?
We need to reduce the stress. Coping skills vary from drinking caffeine, smoking, taking medication, or drinking more alcoholic beverages. These, however, are not very healthy choices. Healthy stress reduction can be enjoyable and managed with a little effort.
Tips for Shaking Stress:
Determine the true cause of your stress, then learn to say “NO” when you don’t feel you have the capacity to do more. You must learn your personal boundaries and hold them sacred.
Simplify your life. Prioritize the things that are more meaningful to you. This will help detoxify your life by getting rid of what isn’t serving you.
Improve your lifestyle habits: get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, eat a more plant-based diet, and exercise consistently.
Eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and anything else that puts unnecessary stress on your liver or adrenals.
Try mind-body exercises such as yoga, breath work and meditation.
Utilize food-grade essential vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils to help balance mood, calm and sharpen the mind, and stabilize the blood sugar.
Reach out to a friend or professional to talk.
The holidays should be a joyful time. Find the best protocols or techniques to aid you in reducing harmful stress and allow your body to be as healthy as possible.
Enjoy the holidays and remember to pace yourself.
American Psychological Association
American Institute of Stress
Anxiety and Depression Association of America