Beat the Holiday Stress
Guest Blogger Jolene Park founded Healthy Discoveries in 2001, and with a passion for health, Jolene inspires her audiences to create balance in all areas of their lives. She promotes individual responsibility and believes in the power of information to provide options for choosing healthy lifestyles. (Stock photo provided by gabrielbu.)
One of my most requested corporate workshops is my Stressed Out Solutions Class. Here are some of my favorite Healthy Discoveries to help reduce your stress – especially holiday stress.
1. Rescue Remedy - Drop a couple drops under your tongue or in a glass of water. Rescue Remedy is recommended when feeling stressed, impatient, tense or pressured. Rescue Remedy can also be given to children and pets. Rescue Remedy is part of the Bach Flower essences, which are extracts from flowers and used to balance emotions. They can be purchased in any health food store.
2. Nostalgic Smells - Specific smells trigger vivid memories and nostalgic feelings – and if the memories they evoke are pleasant ones, they’ll lower your stress level and improve your mood. I like to put cinnamon and cloves in a pan of water and let them simmer on the stove. It infuses the kitchen and house with a lovely soothing smell. I also like to put a couple drops of lavender oil in bath water for a relaxing soak in the tub.
3. Music – There is a strong connection between music and mood. Music can affect physiological functions such as respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. Music, especially classical music, has also been shown to lower amounts of the hormone cortisol, which becomes elevated under stress and to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. Personally I like to listen to spa radio on pandora.com and this song always dissolves my stress and helps to put things into perspective.
4. De-clutter – According to Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life, “Clutter creates a feeling of pandemonium as you find yourself running in twenty different directions simultaneously.” Feeling out of control in your environment seeps into your everyday life. Clutter pulls your energy down. Ask yourself these questions to help clear clutter:
- Do I love it?
- Do I use it?
- Do I need it?
- Does it evoke a positive feeling and make me smile?
5. Go for a Walk – Exercise can be a great stress reliever in itself, as it helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins. Taking a walk when stressed provides the bonus of getting you out of the stressful situation and providing some perspective so you can return in a new frame of mind.
6. Gratitude Journal - Write down five things you are grateful for at the end of every day. Notice all the blessings in your life. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude keeps you in the present moment and soothes your soul.
7. Breathe! - Take 10 slow breaths, inhale and exhale deeply and completely.
8. Keep Good Company – Don’t underestimate the power of human contact and friendship. Cultivate healthy relationships and surround yourself with positive people they can definitely help buffer and decrease your stress.
9. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Vitamin C (the anti-stress nutrients) - B12 can be found in egg yolks and meat. Green vegetables such as spinach contain high amounts of Magnesium. Broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries and lemons have good sources of Vitamin C. Consider taking a high quality multi-vitamin, mineral complex during times of stress as well.
Those are a few of my favorite stress-busters, what are some of yours?