Whether your large family is coming to visit, or it’s a busy period at work, or the kids are home on break, the holidays tend to leave lots of us feeling overextended. Luckily, there are numerous ways for you to relieve holiday stress naturally.
When it comes to calming our minds and bodies, it is helpful to look at it from a holistic viewpoint. We want to address not only how we think, but also what we put into our bodies and what we surround ourselves with.
We have all heard that working out helps to relieve stress, however sometimes getting up and going to the gym can be a stressor all in its own.
If you are not into rigorous workouts, that is completely alright. Yoga, whether at a calmly lit studio or on a mat in your bedroom, is one of the best workouts there is.
Yoga combines both the mind and body, yielding numerous therapeutic benefits.
Studies have shown regular yoga practice to not only boost flexibility and strength, but to alleviate stress, depression, anxiety, and boost overall quality of life and well-being.1
Simple daily meditation can do incredible things for the mind. Helping us to connect with our inner selves, meditation has a calming and balancing effect that has been recognized for thousands of years.
Recent research in the West supports these benefits of meditation, with daily meditation being linked to much lower levels of stress and mood disorders.
Simply sit in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet room. Concentrate on your breathing, slowing breathing in and out. You may even light incense or put on calming music to enhance the experience.
There are even guided meditation all over the web, so if you would like something a bit more instructive, simply do a search for guided meditations. Read more about ways to clear your mind of clutter here.
Surroundings: Essential Oils
Over recent years, essential oils have become all the rage, and for good reason. Many people are surprised to learn that many of the benefits that people claim with regards to essential oils have been supported in published scientific articles.
Numerous essential oils can help to produce a calming effect, including lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, chamomile, frankincense, and rose.
In a study on 41 female participants, 15 minutes of bergamot oil aromatherapy led to reduced stress, increased energy, and a boost in positive emotions.3 In these participants, a saliva test showed lower cortisol levels following aromatherapy when compared to the control inhalation. Cortisol is the stress hormone, with higher levels being tied to chronic stress.
These and other findings support the use of calming essential oils in a diffuser to help bring balance back to your day.
Adaptogens are herbs that are known to combat stress. Adding in a daily adaptogenic supplement is a great idea at any time of the year, but particularly during periods of high stress.
Some of the most potent adaptogens include Ashwagandha root extract, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Rhodiola rosea and Schisandra chinensis.
Acupuncture helps calm down the stress of the holidays by encouraging the body to find its natural zen state. Sterile fine needles are inserted along the different energetic pathways of the body to promote wellness and balance. By doing this blockages are removed, pain is relieved, stress is reduced, and the body falls into a state of rest. Needles are usually retained for about 30-40 minutes to allow the relaxation to set in.
Acupuncture is a great way to face the holidays with a smile. If you have more questions come in or call Hummingbird Community Acupuncture in Boulder, CO.
Stress Relief – Conclusion
So there you have it, if you are struggling with holiday stress, add in yoga, meditation, essential oil diffusers, and daily stress-busting adaptogenic herbal supplements.
These natural solutions will help you feel like your vibrant self all year long!
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life
- Meditation: Process and effects
- Effects of bergamot essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females
- A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.
- Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress — protective activity.