Stress is a response that we all feel at some point in our lives. Some stress is considered healthy, as it sharpens your mental faculty, however, too much can be harmful to your health.
Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol in and of itself is not a bad thing as it is important for many functions such as regulating your metabolism, blood pressure, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream and your immunity. Prolonged high levels of cortisol, however, can effect your body detrimentally with a myriad of health problems such as: high blood pressure, lowered immunity, blood sugar imbalances, decreases in bone density, and a decrease in the amount of testosterone produced. Psychologists have long known that chronic stress causes psychological ailments as well, such as: depression, anxiety and anger. I don’t know about you, but I know many otherwise reasonable stable people experience these feelings during the holiday season!
For many of us, the upcoming holiday season produces more cortisol surges than any other time of year! However, the good news is that there are simple things you can do to significantly reduce stress and – get this- even ENJOY yourself more!!
So, what can you do about it?
Visualize this, according to Life Extension Magazine:
“Don’t let stress stick to you like fuzzy stuff to Velcro. Let it slide away, like a cooked pancake off a Teflon skillet.”
Meditate every morning for just 3-5 minutes – YES you can! Studies show this will calm your mind, energize you and set you up for a busy day and night. The simple act of stilling your mind chatter for a few minutes each day can be incredible and not just for your stress levels. Meditation is thought of as a great way for finding solutions to problems. Highly successful people regularly use meditation as a tool to rebalance themselves as well as coming up with new business or creative ideas. We have all the answers inside of ourselves, so meditation is used to quiet the external noise so you can hear your creative internal voice. There is not a right or wrong way; just do it and watch Aunt Sally’s shrill voice fade comfortably away…This simple act of stilling your mind will help lower your stress levels.
Exercise most days even if it is ONLY 20 minutes! During the holidays one of the first routines we give up is often our exercise pattern – Don’t! 20 minutes of a brisk walk, light weights or quick cardio will assist you more than you realize to feel good and enjoy the holidays.
Stay healthy: Have a protein shake before you go to a party. Indulge as you wish, but the protein will help you stay full and balance any sugars and carbs you consume.
Use a good quality, natural multivitamin with antioxidants daily, such as femMED, to boost your immune system and provide your body with the baseline nutrients and minerals you need for energy and vitality.
Try hard not to book events back to back. It is ok to say, “no thank you”!
Drink one glass of water before every alcoholic drink and drink several glasses before bed. You have heard it before and YES it does make a huge difference in how you feel the morning after! Moderation is quite acceptable.
Sleep – quality, restorative sleep matters during this busy season. Studies show that even if we are getting less sleep than we require, if it is restful (not fitful) then we feel restored the following morning. The sleep we get between 10 PM-2 AM promote the body’s production of the human growth hormone. Try to go to bed before midnight most nights. femMED SLEEP Formula is a natural way to ensure you are getting the proper sleep you need.
Hormonal Balance is KEY for us women, especially during the holidays. Since hormones affect our moods, our patience levels with family and so much more, the holidays are the perfect time to incorporate femMED Hormonal Balance into your daily health regime.
Finally, keep in mind that this is a special time to be with friends and family. It is a time for you to relax, enjoy, laugh and be grateful for the wonders of life and not let stress ruin your holiday!
Enjoy a Happy Holiday!
Camille Lawson RN, BA, MEd December 2012