Stress and the Holidays

Stress and the Holidays

Stress happens to all of us, especially around the holidays. For this reason, we need to be prepared to handle our body’s natural stress responses that are sure to accompany the many events planned over the next couple months. The following strategies can help you survive the holidays.

  1. Exercise. When we are stressed and preparing to “fight or flight,” the best thing you can do for your body is to be active. Find a physical release for your stressors, whether it is walking with a friend, kick boxing, yoga or a 2-mile run. Find a release and create time to move your body.
  2. Diet. One of the toughest stressors for your body is managing blood sugar. When you eat a simple carbohydrate or sugar, blood sugars rise. But, this rise is temporary and blood sugar levels will eventually crash leading to a stress response and a craving for sugar to return blood sugar levels to normal. Protein is the answer to keep blood sugars regulated. Eat protein every time you put something in your mouth. Limit simple sugars and carbohydrates.
  3. Hormone balance. Having your hormones balanced (specifically your progesterone and DHEA), allows your body to formulate stress responses when necessary even when the adrenals glands are struggling to keep up. It is a great time to test those hormone levels to make sure you are ready for the stresses ahead.
  4. Adaptogens. These herbs help regulate the production of cortisol in the body and can be very helpful keeping the sleep cycle regular and your energy up. My favorite adaptogen product we carry is Cortisol Calm.
  5. Glandular support. Occasionally, the hypothalamus shuts down the adrenal glands in the body so cortisol stops it usual production. Without cortisol, you lose the motivation and energy to rise to the tasks presented. Adrenal gland can be supplemented in the short term to give some energy while the rest of the body recovers.
  6. Proper supplementation. When your body makes a lot of cortisol it uses up a lot of vitamins. The most important of these is vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid. It is really challenging to get a substantial amount of B5 from food, suggested supplementation includes Dr. Wilson’s Super Adrenal Stress multivitamin or straight pantothenic acid 500mg.The holidays are a time to focus on others, but we can’t forget to spend a little time on ourselves.

If we give everything, eventually there will be nothing left to give.For more details and additional tactics to help combat stress, come listen to our pharmacist, Jen Ramaekers, talk about Stress: Killing us Softly. Protecting yourself and your family on November 9th at 12:10pm at the pharmacy.  Pre-registration required.  Reserve your seat today!