Enjoy a Stress-Free Holiday Season
Stress levels can affect a big part of your everyday life. There is "good stress" called eustress that feels more like excitement. It causes your pulse to quicken and hormones to rise.
But the stress that most people think of is the stress that wears you out. When you are experiencing this stress, your body releases cortisol and can begin function differently in response. Stress affects your muscles, digestion, and almost every system in your body. This stress happens almost everyday, but certain situations or times of year can increase it.
What Causes Holiday Stress?
The holidays can be hard for your mental health. There’s a lot that can make you feel like the “most wonderful time of year” is actually one of the hardest.
The results of an APA survey show that 38% of people experience higher stress during the holidays. So what are some of the reasons?
- Finances - Another survey revealed that over half of the participants felt the most stress from finances. The holidays can mean spending a lot more money than normal. The average person can spend thousands during the holidays on gifts, food, and decorations.
- Lack of Time - Between office parties, kids’ recitals, family gatherings, and gift exchanges with friends, life can get busy. Add in gift shopping, trips to the grocery store, cooking, and baking and it’s no wonder that people can feel stressed from not having enough time to get everything done!
- High Expectations - Holiday movies and Pinterest boards make it seem like every meal, activity, and gift is going to be flawless. It seems like every year the expectations for a perfect holiday season get higher and higher. When plans hit a roadblock or something goes wrong, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
How to Manage Holiday Stress
The holidays can be stressful for sure, but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are a few solutions for getting back to the joy (and no, it’s not ditching the Holiday party at your in-laws).
- Budget - Creating a holiday budget can avoid a lot of stress. Instead of spending money towards gifts, you can offer alternatives like quality time, DIY crafts, or baked goods.
- Make a Calendar - Part of the holiday madness and stress is the amount of parties and events. Making a calendar for important dates and scheduling ahead of time can help stress levels stay low.
- Eat Healthy - We know that the holidays mean lots of delicious foods and desserts, but it’s important to balance all of that with a healthy diet. Eating healthy has a lot of benefits, including lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Try including foods that are high in vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium to help promote healthier cortisol levels.
- Use CBD Oil or Gummies - There are many benefits of CBD. Early research is showing that CBD is a great way to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety by interacting with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS affects sleep, mood, appetite, and even memory function. Endocannabinoids are molecules that are similar to cannabinoids, but are naturally made by your body. These molecules bind to receptors to affect several functions throughout your body. CBD is similar to the endocannabinoids that your body makes which allows CBD to have a positive effect on stress.