Cue parties, family get togethers, Christmas concerts and mall crowds. Holiday season has kicked off and December is in full swing. While the holidays have a lot to offer, coupled with the stresses of everyday life, the pressure of this time of year can feel like a never-ending marathon. Trying to stay on top of everything in December is a fast track to burnout. If you’re like everyone else- just trying to hold it together throughout the Christmas season, we have stress reducing tips to help you make through the holidays unscathed.
Holiday Stress and the Body
Stress affects the majority of people on a daily basis- add the holidays into the mix and we’re more likely to become physically and emotionally exhausted. There are different types of stress. We have mental stress, emotional stress, chemical stress and physical stress. Through financial pressures, obligations, increased alcohol consumption and a lack of quality sleep- the holidays contribute to all types of stress, which leaves the body feeling run down.
As a result, many of us live in a perpetual state of fight or flight in December. Fight or flight is the body’s response to stress- and when the body is in flight or fight it pumps out excess stress hormones that can cause cravings, weight gain, a compromised immune system and low-quality sleep. Despite the go-go-go nature of holiday season- we have curated a list of simple and effective tips to support the body during this hectic time of year!
Ways to Tackle Holiday Stress
Set Limits- We’re all guilty of becoming over committed during the holiday season. Avoid cluttering your calendar with events that don’t excite you, practice saying no and recognize when you need an evening for some R&R.
Breathe –Noticing the breath is one of the best tools for stress reduction. We all have to breath and making it intentional goes a long way. Science and the wisdom of ancient practices tell us that breathing through the nose relaxes the nervous system and takes the body out of the flight or fight. Try taking long, deep breaths in and out through the nose when you’re feeling stressed and notice the calmness that washes over you!
Move – Being active is a timeless stress reliever. Short on time? No worries, fit movement wherever you notice a pocket of time. Maybe you start the day with 20 jumping jacks, park an extra block away from your destination, take a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or do a 10-minute YouTube video after the kids go to bed. Movement doesn’t have to be extreme, just enough to moderately elevate heart rate!
Psychologists have shown that supplementation with vitamin C reduced both physiological and mental symptoms in subjects with high levels of stress. It’s safe to say when it comes to stress, vitamin C is considered one of the most profound nutrients. Here are three other reasons adding vitamin C your holiday survival pack can have a positive impact:
- The adrenal glands become fatigued in times of high stress, and they use vitamin C to help cope with the excess demands. When vitamin C gets used up and is not replenished, the body has a hard time maintaining homeostasis- resulting in symptoms of stress.
- Stress, of all kinds, causes immune system dysregulation. This combined with decreased available vitamin C from stress leaves the body susceptible to infections. Supplementing vitamin C helps to keep the immune system strong in spite of incoming stressors. Increasing vitamin C during the holidays may help you avoid the second round of cold and flu season come January.
- With the holidays, usually comes a few extra cocktails. As the cocktails go down, so does vitamin C concentration. Vitamin C is part of an enzymatic reaction that helps metabolize alcohol and is readily depleted with alcohol intake. In addition to helping the liver breakdown alcohol, vitamin C helps maintain healthy glutathione levels in the body. Click here to read how glutathione can stop a hangover in its tracks.
Due to its unique encapsulation system, our Lypo-Spheric® Vitamin C has been shown to have 4x the absorption of traditional vitamin C supplements, like ascorbic acid. We suggest increasing to 2-4 sachets per day during times of stress, or when you feel under the weather.
Take the stress out of the holiday season by supporting your mind and body with the simple tips we covered in this article. Our hope is that everyone slides into the new decade feeling ready to take on your new year’s resolutions- us included!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Author: Lisa Kowalyk, B.Kin (hons), CNP