Holiday times can be stressful, both mentally and physically. It is easy to sometimes forget to stop and take care of us. This post is tells you why it is important to take care of yourself, and provides tips and tricks on easy ways to do so.
What happens when you stress? The human body contains numerous neurons, each one responding and acting to stimuli, be it laughter, the dinner you ate, worry, or stress. Every emotion or item is processed in and through the body. When someone is angry or stressed, the autonomic nervous system sends out distress signals triggering an influx of glucose in the body stimulating a flight or fight response. The endocrine system teams up with the nervous system to help restore the bodies balance. When the body encounters strong emotions over a long period of time, the body cannot catch up to replenish the outgoing energy needed to meet the crisis. This results in the body slowing down creating a build of toxins in the blood stream, which in turn slows digestion creating a backup of waste and the reabsorption of toxins into the blood stream and spread throughout the body. The toxic build up can display itself in a variety of ways like constipation, heart palpitations, constipation/diarrhea, fatigue, and irritability.
Finding balance in the midst of stress is vital to our health; whether it is through meditation, religion, exercise, reading, or watching your favorite show. Even the occasional pieces of dark chocolate can release tryptophan and endorphins into the body relieving tension in the body. While food can be a good destressor, it should not be an over-indulgence, as this can lead to more trauma within the body.
Herbal remedies can also be used to help relieve stress and heal the damage caused by stress. Adaptive herbs, such as Astragalus, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Rhodiola, can be taken during a crisis to help the body through the stress and protect it “against various stressors”. Calming herbs, such as Valerian Root, Chamomile, and Lemon Balm can be taken to help calm frayed nerves and relax the body. These herbs are best used in a tea. Valerian root should only be used before bed as it may cause drowsiness. Supporting herbs, like Milk Thistle, can help the body detox from the stress helping the reabsorption of nutrients into the body.
Astragalus is a wonderful herb that has been shown to help calm the central nervous system. Astragalus can be taken daily. Astragalus can be found in tincture available by Gaia. It can be purchased at any health food store or online at Amazon.
Holy basil (Tulsi) is traditionally used to help clear mental fog, but it has become known to help with situational stress. Organic Tulsi Tea is a great way to incorporate an adaptive into your day. They also have a great variety of delicious tea blends. Tulsi is also available in capsule and tincture available by Gaia. Some studies show that it is best to use holy basil during the time of stress, instead of as a preventative. Do not take Holy basil if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, as some studies suggest it may cause a miscarriage and may prevent pregnancy.
Rhodiola has been shown to help reduce stress induced fatigue. Gaia Herbs Rhodiola blend can be purchased at any health food store or online at Amazon.com.
If you like to use essential oils, bergamot essential oil has been clinically shown to help calm the nerves without putting your to sleep! Place a few drops of bergamot essential oil in your diffuser to help during stressful times! If you like the smell of bergamot, you will love this recipe! This recipe can be diffused as well, just reduce the drops to 3 bergamot, 2 lavender, and 1-2 drops rose absolute. Diffuse in a large area.
Lemon and lavender essential oil have been shown to help restlessness and calm the mind and body. This is a great blend to put on at the end of a restless day. A few (2) drops of each oil in your diffuser will help wind day a crazy day.
Please check with a trained aromatherapist before diffusing essential oils around small children (5 and under) as it may cause adverse reactions.