Well, the holiday season is officially upon us. How are you holding up? Are you feeling the peace and joy and good tidings we sing about? Or, are you one cookie batch away from a Merry Meltdown? It’s ok. I’ve been there. But, I’ve learned a thing or two in how to “de-stress” in times like these.
De-Stress this Holiday Season
Did you know that stress can affect our health? It’s true…
Stress suppresses the immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. In a study at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, researchers surveyed volunteers about what was going on in their lives, and then infected them with a cold virus. The men and women coping with stresses ranging from a bad marriage to unemployment were twice as likely to get sick as those with fewer problems. (Source)
So, if you’re stressed, it can affect your health.
When you don’t feel healthy, you’re unhappy.
If you’re unhappy, you’re missing out on the beauty of Christmas!
For some of us, who have a lot of stress hormones in our body or a chemical imbalance in how our bodies respond to stress, it is critical to be proactive. Especially during the most potentially-stressful time of the year.
I’m not a doctor, so I’m not qualified to focus on fixing any physiological dysfunctions. Rather, I’m going to point out a few practical ways to de-stress this holiday Season. And, while we’re at it, we’re going to create a positive mindset that will help us become stronger and healthier BEFORE we ring in the New Year. I know. Crazy, right!?
1.) Drink some Holiday Water!
You’ve never heard of it? Yes! It’s basically H2O that is yummy. And, pretty. And, festive! Water can be so much less appealing in the winter than in the summer months. So, do anything you can to get hydrated. Add fruit, veggies, mint leaves. While you’re at it, grab a few Infusion Pro Water Bottles to give as gifts. They come with an infusion tube to fill up with some delicious natural flavors. Who wouldn’t want one?
2.) Eat Clean!
Whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if you splurge at a Holiday Party or your annual cookie bake… There are so many other meals you’ll be eating before New Year’s Day. So why not make them count? I love Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses. Probably more than the average gal. But, how about “adding” something creative, fun, and festive that brings nourishment to our bodies? This is a sure way to de-stress and get healthy at the same time! How about trying a fruit or veggie Christmas Tree project with the kiddos or grand-kiddos? Not only will they like making it, but they actually may EAT IT!
3.) Ask for (or GIVE) Stress-relieving gifts!
And, I don’t just mean Detox baths and Body brushes that remove toxins. How about making changes in your household to prevent absorption of toxins in the first place?! I read the other day that the next generation of children may actually have a shorter life span than we do. Why? Because nothing is natural anymore. Everything is synthetic, processed, bulked up, made in factories, etc. This is why we are suffering today, more than ever. (Allergies, infertility, ADHD, autism, autoimmune disorders, hormone imbalances, cancer… to name a few.) Toxins in our bodies make us sick and stressed. We need to eliminate the amount of toxins going in our bodies. We need to DETOX regularly in order to remove toxins that already in our bodies.
You may think you didn’t need anything this holiday. Look around you. That non-stick teflon frying pan? Did you know that Teflon can give off toxic particles and gases?
Manufacturers’ labels often warn consumers to avoid high heat when cooking on Teflon. But EWG-commissioned tests conducted in 2003 showed that in just two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces could exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases. (EWG ~ Environmental Working Group)
Those make-up products with fragrances and chemicals that you are allowing to seep into your skin…every day!? The skin is our largest organ. So, toxins from the environment, and in the products we use on our bodies, are ingested a lot easier and faster.
When we consider the toxins our bodies are dealing with, it’s easier to understand how and why we can feel stress.
If it’s any consolation, I recently chose to say goodbye to most of the products I’ve been using for years on myself and months on Banana. : ( I’m not going to mention brand names that have toxins. But I would suggest that you walk around your house with a paper and pencil and look up any product that has ingredients. Here is the website where you can review consumer scores. (The lower the number, the lower the toxins. ; ) No, you don’t need to replace everything. At least be mindful. ; )
And, because I love you, I’m going to share the latest items I’ve purchased on Amazon to replace the items and products we use most at The House on High Street.
This is what I call an early Christmas gift to myself…and my family.
4.) Avoid Sensory Overload
Just think for a minute about our lifestyle compared to our ancestors who did not have TV, movies, computer games, cell phones, fluorescent lights, etc. All which require our brains to tap into neurotransmitters, like serotonin, to calm itself down. I’ll admit, I need to preach to myself at times, on this one. Hey Rach, How about doing something “else” for a change. Like a craft. A game. A cup of tea. A detox bath. A walk. I don’t know…a conversation??
Here are a few more ideas on activities that require far less concentration…
Those are “organic” bath bombs, by the way. They have great ratings on Amazon. Scott, I don’t have these, yet! (hint. hint.) I do have the adult Coloring book. ; )
Ok, and last but not least…
5.) Read the REAL STORY of Christmas and Hanukkah!
Call me crazy, but I don’t understand why we’d go through so much trouble in celebrating either or both of these monumental holidays without reflecting on what it’s all about. Did you know that there is a connection between Jesus and Hanukkah? Yes. There is only one reference to Hanukkah (The Feast of the Dedication) in the bible. But, it’s very profound! On Hanukkah we celebrate the defeat of a pagan ruler, but those who are followers of Jesus believe Him to truly be God. Jesus is the Light of the World. He chose the Feast of Lights to reveal that. (John 10:22-33). Don’t take my word for it. Read. Ask. Pray. That’s seriously all it takes to invite God to reveal himself. Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to a healthy spiritual life.
Well, that about sums it up. Sure, you can do a hundred other things to de-stress and obtain better health. Like exercise or take a nice walk to admire the Christmas Lights, etc.
I think you have the general idea.
So, what do you say? How about we enjoy this beautiful time of year and unwrap a healthier version of ourselves on Christmas Day? xo