Three Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays are usually stressful for many people as it is. This year everyone is feeling the stress more than usual. Right? Right.

The current state of the world is so far outside of our control. What you and I can control is how we respond to the stresses that we're all collectively facing. Times like these are when having a wellness practice is your best ally.

Over the years I've tried many practices. I've found that doing a few simple basic things daily help me the most when it comes to being able to handle the highs and lows of life. These are practices that have served me well during some of the most challenging times in my life. Making my health a priority has been my ace card. Here are some of my daily routines for optimal health.

Meditation

I've sung the praises of Meditation many times before. And I'm doing it yet again! Meditation truly is a bedrock practice that can help you move through the daily challenges of life.

Some of the benefits of Meditation include a reduction in stress, lower blood pressure, better creativity, happier mood and an increase in grey matter in your brain. Meditation is also really helpful in reducing chronic pain in your body. In fact during a period of my life when I was in extreme physical and emotional pain Meditation made it possible for me to function. 

Our thoughts become things in the world. If you're not aware of your thoughts, chances are they're manifesting situations in your life that are unpleasant. Plus the practice of Meditation teaches you how to be equanimous with whatever life may be throwing your way. Having this kind of resiliency is very helpful in uncertain times.

Start by sitting for fifteen minutes first thing in the morning. Simply sit in a chair or cross legged on a bolster. Set your timer for 15 minutes, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Likely before you've even fully inhaled your mind will drift off to some thought. Notice your mind has gone away and come back to your breath without judging your wandering mind. Keep doing this for the entire time. Your mind wanders, bring it back, it wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. Over time you'll hopefully find that your mind wanders less. There may be moments of glorious stillness and presence. There are no adequate words to define this other than the feeling of pure connection to the Universe.

In the short term you may not notice much from your daily Meditation. But give it a few days or a few weeks and you'll notice that all the things that used to tick you off, don't have the same effect on you. Once you get used to the fifteen minutes of Meditation start adding time in five minute increments until you get up to 30 minutes a day. Daily practice is key, this is how you'll experience the most shifts in your mindset and wellbeing. There's so much science on this! I do hope you bring this practice into your daily life.

Nutrition

Remember the saying "you are what you eat?" I remember that from childhood. I never really fully understood it until I started studying nutrition. When I started to understand the component parts of food I realized that eating foods that are processed, full of sugar, chemicals, preservatives or other ingredients that are not doing my body any favours. 

How do I expect health if I'm putting sub par nutrition into my body? Eat junk food, feel like junk. Certain foods, like processed sugar, cause a stress response in your body. Processed sugar also has a profound affect on your mood. Dairy causes alot of inflammation in your body. Knowing the effect that food has on you will make it easier to make better choices.

This year more than ever, each of us have to take our health seriously. When you're putting processed foods, sugar laden foods, chemicals, lots of meat and dairy you end up compromising gut health and immune system along with it. You need your immune system to be really strong. 

Feeding your body lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains will keep your gut much healthier and happier than eating processed, packaged foods. A happier gut will help boost your mood and your immune system. The other key to better gut health is removing chemical toxicity and heavy metals from your body daily. Nutrient dense foods and detoxification go hand in hand. 

 Indeed optimizing your nutrition with whole plant foods will ensure better health. Plus it'll help reduce stress on your body.

Sleep

How many times can I say that sleep is a super power? I say this every single day! It's not an accident of Nature that we spend a third of our lives sleeping. This goes to show you exactly how important sleep is to your overall health.

When you don't get enough sleep, your body perceives this lack of sleep as a state of stress. Not getting enough sleep also really messes with your hormones. I covered sleep in my blog last week. Please check out it out to learn some tips on how to optimize sleep.

Sleep helps to balance your hormones and helps reduce stress in your body. It's one of the best ways you can help your body to recover from the stresses of the day. 

I hope you find these suggestions to be helpful. Your health is always your best asset. Making your health a priority will always pay off in spades to you. If you're ready to transform your health please join my online program the Ultimate Lifestyle Transformation starting soon! Contact me to learn about the next program start. If you're ready to up level your health then the Ultimate Lifestyle Transformation is for you!

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