With the holiday season coming up, this year will definitely bring new memories and new stresses. Staying calm and collected through the endless family zoom calls, experimental Thanksgiving dinner (cranberry stuffed turkey anyone?), and staying safe through COVID, these next few weeks will undoubtedly be full of trying. Dealing with change is tough for everyone and taking care of one’s mental health is now more vital than ever.
Stress on the body
It’s obvious that stress has a negative effect on the body but doctors are still studying just how detrimental it can actually be. Symptoms of stress on the body can include headaches, muscle tension or pain, upset stomach, and issues with sleep. All of these symptoms can make a huge impact on your day-to-day life and interfere with how you work and how you interact with others. If you neglect your stress, there are long-term effects on the body like depression, heart-disease, high blood pressure, and even stroke.
How to deal with Holiday Stress?
Stress throughout the year is just that - stress. But the holiday stress can take on a whole new dimension of stress when you put family, friends, presents, and food (on top of this year’s pandemic) into the mix.
If you experience stress or feel it as the year comes to an end, here are a few ways you can combat seasonal stress.
1. Physical Activity/Exercise
Being in front of the computer for work and meetings means our bodies are stuck in front of a screen and are in the same positions for a long period of time. Getting some form of exercise brings both mental and physical advantages.
Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, bringing about relief from stressful feelings and can give feelings of happiness and an overall “feel good” mood. Other parts of the body that benefit from exercise include your digestive, immune system, muscles, and so much more.
Aim to get as many minutes as you can (30 minutes is ideal) to get the body moving and away from a desk. Think of exercising as “meditation in motion” and take this time to focus on the good parts of your day and things to look forward to. Some forms of exercise you can incorporate into any busy lifestyle can be a short outdoor walk, jump rope, and dancing around the house. Although winter is approaching, most activities can be done indoors or for a short time outdoors. As you become more consistent with daily physical activity and becoming more in-tune with your body, you can incorporate other activities to relieve stress. Examples of more advanced activities include running, weight lifting, swimming, and biking. At higher levels of activities, the muscles are sure to feel the effects of your hard work - keep CBD on hand to help with any bodily soreness.
CBD can help increase recovery time and soothe aches and pains from a workout. You can also use it before a workout if you experience arthritis or other conditions that prevent you from getting exercise. Taking a CBD tincture or salve would be a great start!
2. Relaxing techniques
There are so many different ways to relieve stress but finding the right one for you will take trying different methods - but when you find your technique, it’ll change your outlook! Some ways we enjoy relieving the stress from the day include: meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. There are guides for each of these methods that can be found online, and apps like Headspace will take you from beginner to expert.
The best thing about these techniques is that they can be done in the comfort of your living room and at your own pace. Try to incorporate these throughout the day to break away from the monotony and keep stress levels low - even when the day piles on something new.
Doing yoga with roommates, a partner, or even pets will get you to relax and perhaps laugh along the way to zen! Implementing CBD has a lot of relaxing qualities that can also help you reach new levels of relaxation. Hemp derived cannabidiol, or CBD, is known to create a feeling of calmness in those who take CBD through oils, gummies or other methods. CBD can also be used externally to get a sense of the benefits CBD has to offer physically.
We can improve stressful thoughts by redirecting them towards being productive in what you love most! Hobbies like painting, writing, reading a book, and playing music can help you break the vicious loop of stressful thoughts. Listening to music for 30 minutes daily can lower blood pressure, anxiety, and help with cardiovascular recovery, says Harvard Health.
Getting immersed in your own world of creativity will help you forget about stresses and can lead you to discover things about yourself you didn’t even know about.
Whether you're well-versed in writing lengthy novels or a novice at any writing, journaling has gotten a lot of attention lately from those that have tried. Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated - just paper and pen and write about what is cluttering your mind. Being able to physically see how your mind is working and creating an account of what’s on your mind can help you put things into perspective. Maybe what was stressing you wasn’t so bad after all.
A tastier option would be discovering your baking side! When the stay-at-home orders began, people took to baking in masses to pass the time in a yummy way.
Whole hemp flowers which contain CBD, can be baked into any baked goods or included with any holiday dish you were planning for the season. It can also be infused into tea or water if you don’t want to smoke it. Not only can you enjoy all the goodies that your stomach will enjoy from the food but the rest of your body and mind will be enjoying the relaxing effects from the CBD flower as well.
Let us know how you relieve stress and how you’re going to deal with this year’s holiday stresses! Comment below.