Wow! This year is going by so darn quickly! However, before the new year, let’s get through the holidays with ease, grace, happiness and without stress! Let’s face it moms the stress of Christmas shopping is soon to be headed our way. Santa lists, holiday parties, the list can go on forever!
Let’s talk about the stress and how to manage the stress of the upcoming holidays!
First let’s talk about stress, and what it is?
Let’s define the word “stress”; it can be recognized as feeling overwhelmed, burnout, anxiety or fear. In other words it feels like your whole world is sitting on your shoulders. Stress usually has a negative connotation and have a total impact on our feelings, such as emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The fear and anxiety starts to set in. However, stress can be good as well ? Yes, stress can be good, so take a deep breath! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnout, anxiety or fear it can cause stress in the body. However, stress can be invoked from an upcoming event, stimulus, or demand. Often these types of stress can result in rewards, positive attitude, increased self-esteem and gratitude. It can also be perceived by our attitudes, values, personality and even by our moods.
We can experience two different kinds of stress; such as positive stress (eustress) and negative stress (distress). I am human, so, therefore I get stressed out! We all do from time to time! Stress can be a major energy drainer! I try to b very careful how I react to a stressful situation. I try to remember that life happens, but I can control how I respond to it (it’s all in the attitude). It makes all the difference!
Research has shown that long- term stress can influence the mind and body negatively. Repetitive or sustained stress (the kind that never ends) such as a long commute to work, money worries or a toxic relationship. Chronic stress levels can drain our energy, and make us feel like staying in bed with the covers over your head. We can feel heavy in our bodies. We must try to learn to control our reactions. I believe we react to stress in different ways with emotional, mental, physical and spiritual reactions. For example, emotional eating, mental fog, physically fatigued, frustrated and spiritually exhausted. We know life can throw some curve balls and we often react negatively which often results in a negative outcome.
When your body is under short-term stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol. The body releases the “fight or flight’ hormone, which is a response of the sympathetic nervous system. This can increase fats and sugars within your bloodstream to get your brain and muscles to react in a quick burst of energy. This can be an impulsive reaction that is difficult to control. When the stress has passed, your body can return to its normal relaxation state which is created by the parasympathetic nervous. When under chronic stress your body will release cortisol consistently and such long-term exposure to elevated cortisol wears your body down physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It can leave you vulnerable to colds, hormone imbalances, weight gain, illness and conditions from diabetes to cancer. Chronic stress is epidemic in our busy world we live in today. This is especially true for women! Make some “time” for yourself, even if it’s for 20 minutes. This will allow you to blow off some stream and get refreshed.
Here are a few tips to blow off some steam and refreshed: When the holiday’s seems overwhelming:
- Breathing is an excellent way to blow off some stress. The breathing I’m talking about is being mindful, aware and focused on the breath itself. This will release the stress. Now try breathing in through your nose and through your mouth. (Deep breathing increases the oxygen in your blood and relaxes your body and mind).
- Take some time for a yoga class it is a great way to learn different types of breathing. Don’t have time? YouTube has some great yoga videos 20-30 minute practices.
- Take a meditation walk (healing the mind from every day busy to-do-list can be refreshing for the soul). Appreciate the beauty about you as you take this meditation walk, listen around you to the trees, sky, wind, animals, etc.). You’ll be surprised what you can hear and see and how it can relax you.
- Embracing a positive mood can have a direct impact on your mood. Have you ever noticed when you’re in a low mood, your energy is low? When your mood is positive energy follows (thinking positive may reduce stress, boost your mood, and take away worry and fear).
Homemade Produce Wash:
Add about ten drops of grapefruit seed extract to every 2 quarts’ pure water, when soaking produce in the sink or mix 10-20 drops of water in a spray bottle to wash individual pieces of fresh fruit OR mix 2-3 ounces. Dr. Bonner’s natural all-purpose almond soap with no ounces purified water in a spray bottle. Spritz on produce directly and rinse off, or add to water in the sink for squeaky clean fruits and veggies.
Fact of the month:
When having positive social support, healthy relationships can bring a healthy balance emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually within your body. For most of us, life centers around our relationships with the significant people in our lives, such as family members, other loved ones and close friends. You’ve probably inherently known that life is easier and more comfortable when you have people you can depend on. Many studies have shown that people live longer and have better health when they have a strong social contacts; a spouse, family, network of friends, church groups or affiliations. People who are socially isolated had poor health and died earlier. Social isolation has an “amazingly” strong connection with a low sense of pleasure and well-being. With that said, my family and I volunteer at Denver Impact to give to others and provide them with social support they need. We want to make a difference during the holidays.
Here are a few tips of a healthy social support and healthy relationships:
- Pack food for your local food bank.
- Walk or bike for a cause.
- Find an event to help other families in need (feed a family for the holiday’s, donate a gift for kids in need).
- Volunteer at your local homeless event or donate (donate turkeys to the homeless shelters etc. )
We first make our habits, then our habits make us” John Dryden
Recipe for The Month:
Mom’s High Energy Smoothie:
1 cup of coconut milk or water
1 cup frozen fruits (blueberries, black berries, raspberries, apples and strawberries-you can freeze your own).
2 tsp. wheat grass powder
1/2 tsp. barley grass powder
1/2 cup of flax seeds
2 scoops of protein of choice (all natural protein gmos free)
Mix all ingredients in blender and serve.
Note: Sassy Mom Fitness has all natural protein products, that we recommend to our clients. Please check our recommendation page on our website @ www.sassymomfitness.com