The holidays are infamous for being one of the most stressful times of the year. There are so many expectations--from buying perfect gifts to spending quality time with your family and friends to being happy and merry. With the added stress of COVID-19, this holiday season is gearing up to be one of the most stressful holiday seasons of all time.
So, what is stress?
Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. While stress is a normal part of life, excessive stress and anxiety can adversely affect your body. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates, and ready your muscles to respond. Prolonged exposure to stress can have a negative impact on health, which can lead to diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and a host of other ailments.
With trying to find holiday cheer during a global pandemic, we’re sure you're wondering how you can manage your stress level. Well, have no fear, The Point of Health Wellness Center is here. We’ve compiled a list of four methods, nutritional tips and essential oils that will leave you feeling your best during the holiday season.
Tip # 1- Meditation
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior.
Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Here are six types of meditations for you to consider:
This type of meditation is good for people who don’t have a teacher to guide them, as it can be easily practiced alone. The goal is to pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them, you simply observe and take note of any patterns.
This practice is beneficial for those who thrive in silence and seek spiritual growth. The goal is to reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe.
This practice is ideal for anyone who requires additional focus in their life. It involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention, such as counting mala beads, listening to a gong or staring at a candle flame.
This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you. It is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their minds wander. Examples of movement meditation include yoga, walking through the woods, gardening, Qigong and other gentle forms of motion.
This form of meditation is great for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition. It uses a repetitive sound, word or phrase to clear the mind.
Tip # 2- Acupuncture
It’s a well-known fact that acupuncture is an effective means to treat pain and chronic diseases. A focus group study performed by Kristen Sparrow, MD, and Brenda Golianu, MD, sought to explore the effect of regular acupuncture treatments on stress. The study measured the heart rate of the patients being treated for hypertension during acupuncture and after treatment over the course of weeks to months. It found that acupuncture decreases physiologic stress.
There are three stress-related imbalances in Chinese medicine.
Liver Qi Stagnation. When suffering from this imbalance, one may experience chest distention, stress, hypochondriac pain and/or distention, sighing, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, PMS, breast tenderness, and painful and/or irregular menstruation.
HT Qi & Blood Stagnation. The signs and symptoms of this imbalance include panic attacks (sudden feeling of doom, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest oppression), insomnia, profuse dreams.
HT Qi & Blood Deficiency. The signs and symptoms of this imbalance include palpitations with exertion, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, poor memory, insomnia, pale/lusterless complexion.
Tip # 3- Essential Oils
Essential oils are literally famous for their stress-relieving qualities. We’ve compiled a list of essential oils that you can help reduce your stress and also improve your overall health.
Supports healthy cellular integrity
Protects body and cells from oxidative stress
Promotes overall cellular health
Supports the health of the brain and nervous system
Aids in a healthy immune response
Add 1–2 drops to citrus drinks, teas or water and consume daily to protect the body and cells from oxidative stress*
Combine with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil for a soothing topical massage
Helps boost mood
Complements effective work and study
Increases feelings of tranquility
Soothes and uplifts
Has calming and relaxing aroma
Soak in a relaxing epsom salt bath by adding three to four drops to bath water
Mix three drops with fractionated coconut oil for a soothing massage
Diffuse the oil in a room diffuser to promote a centered and calm mindset
Apply one drop to hands, rub together and inhale deeply as needed throughout the day
Creates a restful environment at bedtime
Has calming and soothing aroma
Encourages a tranquil atmosphere
Apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime to help unwind before going to sleep. Use in conjunction with doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels for an enhanced effect
Inhale directly from hands or diffuse throughout the day for a soothing aroma
Add two to three drops into a warm bath with epsom salts to create a relaxing, renewing experience
Apply two to three to the back of the neck or on the heart for feelings of peace
Tip # 4- Diet
Food can quite literally be used as medicine with powerful stress-relieving qualities. Here are foods to eat that will not only nourish your body, but also help reduce stress.
Regulates Liver Qi, benefits the liver and gallbladder and lowers blood pressure
Home remedy for high blood pressure
Drink cornsilk and chrysanthemum tea daily
Mushroom (Reishi, Ganoderma, Ling Zhi)
Nourishes the heart channel, improves energy, decrease anxiety, lower blood pressure
Home remedy for high blood pressure
Drink Ling Zhi mushroom tea daily to manage your blood pressure
Decreases anxiety, improves energy, builds blood, improves digestion
Home remedy for anxiety or insomnia
Toast ¼ cup amaranth in oven until slightly brown
Remove and steep in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes
Drink when feeling anxious or before bad
Garbanzo Beans, Chickpeas and Pinto Beans
These beans improve digestion, reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase your overall energy level
Home remedy for anxiety and restlessness
Make hummus with garbanzo beans, pinto beans and lima beans with parsley, basil and chives
Eat on a regular basis
Listen, we know the holidays can be a time of both great joy and great stress. Many people around the world will be experiencing their first holiday season without gathering with their family or missing a loved one who has passed away during this historic year. So why not give yourself a fighting chance with our tips to help keep your stress level down and your happiness at an all-time high.
Healthy holidays from all of us at The Point of Wellness Center!