Holiday Stress Relief

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and gatherings, delicious meals, and decorating the tree & the house.

There never seems to be enough time to accommodate all the traditions and activities while still maintaining your normal life buying gifts or preparing your home for company also adds up rather quickly.

Family situations are another factor that add to increased stress levels during this time of year. Getting the right gift. Or worried you cannot afford gifts because your company laid off.

Whether it’s dealing with family members who are ill, or kids acting up or just deciding where to celebrate the holidays or who to invite can be a struggle in itself.

Worried that your Uncle drinks to much and falls into the Christmas tree. Or cousin sue is off so busy using drugs and doesn’t even bother to show up at all.

Or if you live hundreds of miles away facing they holiday alone can be stressful and also bring about sadness and anxiety.

When your living with a chronic condition we are often hard on ourselves because we can’t always do the things we used to do.

Let’s face it Holidays are Stressful!

And even though we can’t wave a magic wand and make it all disappear there are a few ways to help ease our stress and anxiety.

Because stress can lead to many things that can effect our health and mental wellness including, but not limited to:

Elevated blood pressure

Exhaustion

Headaches

Moodiness

Trouble sleeping

Anxiety

Depression

More pain if you suffer from a chronic condition

While holiday stress may seem quite inevitable, don’t worry, there are many ways to naturally cope with holiday stress!

Methods such as acupuncture, massage therapy, hydrotherapy aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, and exercise can help bust up the stress.

Acupressure

isan effective form of stimulation used to help relax the muscles. If done regularly, this method of self-massage can sustain improvement and minimize recurrence of symptoms. Be patient and consistent when practicing acupressure on them. A simple way to stimulate these points is to press firmly with a finger in a rotary movement or an up-and-down movement for several minutes at a time. It is recommended that you use this information under the guidance of your physician.

Massage therapy appears to have few risks when performed by a trained practitioner. However, massage therapists should take some precautions in people with certain health conditions.Make sure they are licensed. Examples

In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, adapted specifically to the needs of athletes. Among the many other examples are deep tissue massage and trigger point massage, which focuses on myofascial trigger points muscle “knots” that are painful when pressed and can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.

Hydrotherapy

Water in all of its forms, such as liquid, steam or ice, continues to be a therapeutic method of helping people feel better during stressful times in life. Hydrotherapy is a popular and effective way to help people ease life’s stressors. Research has shown a link between starting hydrotherapy and seeing a decrease in a person’s depression or anxiety levels.

The idea of hydrotherapy originated in the 19th century with Sebastian Kneipp’s water therapy practices designed to rid the body of toxins. Now, hydrotherapy is a widely used method to treat many different medical ailments or chronic issues, such as stress and chronic pain.

Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Sleep. Scents are powerful a simple smell can immediately trigger a powerful memory, place, or person.

Essential oils like lavender have even been shown to react the same way biochemically that anti-anxiety medications do with certain neuroreceptors.

LavenderLavender essential oil is the most used essential oil in the world today. Today, lavender oil benefits for your body include the following:

lowers anxiety and emotional stress,Improve brain function Improve sleep. It’s relaxing to Spray some on your pillows.

Vetiver oil

Vetiver is known as a sacred herb valued because of its uplifting, soothing, healing and protective properties. It’s a natural body cooler making it extremely popular in tropical countries. In fact, in India and Sri Lanka it’s known as the “oil of tranquility.”

Ylang Ylang

This popular essential oil can treat anxiety and depression due to its calming and uplifting effects. Ylang ylang helps with cheerfulness, courage, optimism and soothes fearfulness. It may calm heart agitation and nervous palpitations and is a moderately strong sedative, which can help with insomnia.

Bergamot is commonly found in Earl Grey tea and has a distinctive floral taste and aroma. Bergamot oil is calming and often used to treat depression by providing energy; however, it can also help with insomnia induce relaxation and reduce agitation.

Chamomile

A peaceful, calming scent, chamomile benefits inner harmony and decreases irritability, overthinking, anxiety and worry. An explorative study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on the antidepressant activity in chamomile found that this essential oil “may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity.”

Yoga

Practicing yoga is proven to calm you It can lower your blood pressure, provide relief for chronic back pain and even relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Check with your doctor if you have muscle skeleton issues before starting

Meditation

Anaturally hypervigilant brain is not well-suited to modern life and can easily turn into an anxious mind. If you want to overcome anxiety without medication, mindfulness meditation is a proven way to reduce anxiety and stress and improve your overall well-being. It does more than temporarily help you relax.

How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners

1. Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.

4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

5. Start with 5 minutes a day twice a day then build up to 15 minutes

Exercise

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives. Exercising Body and Mind

The physical benefits of exercise-improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

Prayer

When stress & anxiety’s got you in its grip, it’s hard to avoid worrying. But there’s a technique that can help. I call it “breathing prayer

Try this: Close your eyes and inhale slowly, imagining pulling the Spirit in so fully that it fills every pore of your body. Make sure your stomach expands; you want to be pregnant with peace. Exhale slowly through your nose.

You can pray while you do this (though if you’re anxious when you start, you probably won’t think of it until after a few breaths, when your head starts to clear). Simple prayers work best:

While inhaling

While exhaling

Come Holy Spirit…

fill my heart

Lord Jesus…

grant me your peace

Lord Jesus…

I love you

If you practice when you’re not in the throes of wild anxiety, it will be easier to pray this way when you are. But “breathing prayer” is a good addition to any regular prayer time. Anything that clears the head and calms the body frees us up to hear God better. And that’s what prayer is all about.

Always Check with your doctor if you have muscle skeleton issues before starting any yoga or exercise program.

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