Love them or not, it’s hard to escape the hectic planning, going, and doing that comes with the holidays. Sure, it is a joyous time of year when friends and family celebrate together, but with that may come stress, anxiety, fatigue, and a weakened immune system.
This year, consider creating a little “holiday prep kit” so you have a few essentials on hand to prepare your mind and body so you can take whatever the season throws at you!
Stressed Out?Adaptogenic herbs like ginseng, ashwaghanda, and rhodiola improve the body’s ability to cope with stress and help to maintain a state of balance in the body. They also have the unique ability to calm while also boosting energy, helping you make it through those long hours of gift shopping or baking marathons. Bonus: many adaptogens also provide immune support. Look for individual adaptogens or try a combination.
Planning large meals for a crowd, navigating the airport at the height of holiday travel, or spending hours upon hours with family—any of these could send your stress meter off the charts, and did you know that high levels of stress can shrink your brain?! If you think you’re going to experience higher levels of stress this season, start taking phosphatidylserine (PS), a phospholipid that protects the brain from the negative effects of stress.
Is just the thought of holiday crowds anxiety-inducing?
If you’re looking for immediate calm, something to take the edge off, try GABA, an amino acid that increases relaxing alpha waves in the brain. It also improves concentration and focus. Keep chewables on hand for quick relief.
Feeling Sick?Nobody wants to get sick during the holidays, but sometimes the extra stress and exposure to more germs makes it inevitable. There are certain supplements that are more effective at keeping you well when taken long term, such as vitamin D, NAC, and probiotics (L. rhamnosus and B. animalis have been found to be particularly helpful). If you’re not already, start taking them now and continue through the cold and flu season to best support healthy immunity.
Others, like elderberry, zinc, and echinacea can shorten the duration of a cold or flu if you’ve already caught a bug. The key is to start taking them at the very first signs of illness.
Sniff Your Troubles Away
The smell receptors in our noses directly communicate with areas of the brain associated with emotions and memories—this is why a smell can so strongly trigger a specific memory. When you breathe in essential oils, it is believed that they stimulate these parts of the brain, influencing emotional health and wellbeing.
Try making a personalized blend to suit your needs: Simply add several drops each of three or four oils in a small mister bottle with distilled water. Shake and spray. Or use a diffuser to infuse a room with the scent.
Calminglavender, orange, bergamot, ylang ylang, sandalwood
Invigorating/upliftinglemon, orange, jasmine, rosemary, peppermint
Germ-fightinglemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, clove
- See more at: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/nutrition-and-health/nutrition-library/nutrition-article/the-ultimate-holiday-survival-kit/?mc_cid=10ccf9c997&mc_eid=8fd44c3e7c#sthash.H1DoUjW9.dpuf
Herbs and Things
Have tried most of what I write about in these articles.