The Holidays have arrived, and with them comes stress in many forms. We are here to help! What is your most prevalent holiday stressor? Is it Family, Food, or Finances? How do you cope? We have found a few things that have worked for us, and others, and we hope that this will also help you.
This one is probably the most common stressor. We love our families, but all the traveling, sleeping in strange places, and just the sheer number of extra people is enough to drain even the best of us. Most of us are also dealing with at least one family member with whom we may not “mesh” well. The basic rules apply in every situation where you have extra stress: drink plenty of fresh, clean water, and get adequate sleep/rest. As your stress load increases, you must employ other strategies. We have found that meditation or prayer is very helpful, even as a catalyst to remove yourself from the situation temporarily. If it is not prohibited by inclement weather, going for a walk or even standing outside for a few minutes is a good way to regroup and “count to ten”. Most of all, do not engage in negative behavior, such as defending yourself, or arguing. This is all guaranteed to raise your blood pressure and can create massive dysfunction in the body.
We all have a love/hate relationship with Holiday food choices. On the one hand, we enjoy the many treats available to us in a seemingly endless quantity. On the other hand, we do not enjoy having to wear sweatpants everywhere. If you can establish some basic parameters, you can find your balance. Eating massive quantities of sugar wreaks havoc on your system. You may find that your sleep patterns are disturbed, you feel sluggish, you experience the inevitable weight gain, and your emotional state may also be affected. The most important rule of holiday eating is to never go anywhere hungry. If you arrive at the holiday party with low blood sugar, your body will naturally gravitate towards the foods which are highest in sugar, and, as we know, those are the exact items which you need to limit. If you must carry trail mix with you at all times, DO! Eating an apple before going out can save you from another day of binging. The next thing to remember is SLEEP. If you are tired, your body will also naturally crave sugar, as it gives you energy. That fudge is looking like a great energy source after a full day of shopping and not getting enough sleep the night before. Beware of this trap, because even though you will find quick energy in that cookie, you will crash hard later, and it will be that much harder to get to sleep. This rule applies to any kind of sugary or energy drink, as well, including coffee. Drink your coffee before noon and limit yourself to one cup per day. Otherwise, you will find yourself tossing and turning and setting yourself up for sugar cravings the whole next day. It’s an endless cycle! Last, but not least, stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fresh, clean water is the best way to flush out any toxins or sugars that you ingested throughout the day. Sugary drinks are really the fastest way into the sweatpants. You can drink lots of sugar and not feel full, which is extremely dangerous for your metabolism. Diet drinks are even worse, as they “trick” your body into thinking it has had sugar and starts a chain reaction which is very hard on your system.
The constant outflow of money is another inevitable part of the holidays. Gift giving has become obligatory, and consumerism is at an all time high. We would like to encourage each of you to start new traditions of giving gifts which actually give back to the planet, and do not create waste. You can also find many wonderful craft ideas on sites like Pinterest, and Etsy. Homemade gifts can be the most special of all. Some families draw names and set a spending limit. You can create your own holiday traditions. There are many ideas available for giving back to the planet, such as Earthgifts. Traveling by plane can become expensive, and there is not much way around that, unless you live close enough to drive. Road trips can be fun bonding experiences with kids, especially if you have a busy household and don’t get a lot of quality family time.
Whatever your plans are for the holidays, we can’t stress enough, the importance of taking care of yourself. Visit your local chiropractor and stay in tune with your body. Keep up your exercise program and stay “close to nature” with foods. The occasional holiday party or dinner will not do as much damage if you don’t let it overtake your normal lifestyle. Most of all, enjoy yourself and laugh as much as possible! It is truly the best part of the human experience and a GREAT way to release stress!
For more information and educational videos on the Descaid philosophy, visit our YouTube Descaid Channel.