Say Buh Bye to Holiday Anxiety

 Source | FreeStocks

Source | FreeStocks

The holidays always marks a time for celebration, good cheers, happy traditions with family and friends; but the days leading up to such celebratory activities can be stressful and encourage intense anxiety. For some people, the act of attending parties like work holiday dinners can be just as terrifying especially for those suffering with social anxiety disorders.

According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety is very common in the United States with three million cases reported per year. Someone suffering with anxiety disorder feels that their worries never go away and fear that it can get worse over time. It has the potential to overwhelm a person’s day to day activities even affecting their interpersonal relationships with others.

The generalized symptoms include:

  • Persistent and excessive worrying about a multitude of events and activities even when there is clearly nothing wrong or worth worrying about

  • The worries become overwhelming and the feeling of loss of control

  • Restlessness

  • Difficulty sleeping at night

  • Irritability

  • Impaired concentration and focus

Although it is a happy time of the year where our holiday spirit is lifted, the season can still leave others a bit depressed and full of anxiety. There are natural ways to cope and below I share some methods to ease some of your holiday troubles:

1. Om baby

A study proved that one hour of hatha yoga, a slower pace of postures combined with breathing, per week helps to promote peace of mind and reduce anxiety. Another method that lowers anxiety and panic is mindfulness meditation.

Meditation is the practice of focusing on a thought or activity to achieve emotional and mental calmness. Practicing meditation for as little as five minutes per day can scale down the symptoms. This can give you the boost you need to get you in a calmer state quicker.

2. Sniff this

Nothing beats Lavender essential oil when it comes to promoting a peaceful state. I always keep this on hand when I feel stressed due to project deadlines or if I need a prep ritual before meditation.

Try this essential oil when you are prompted by a high anxiety activity like having to rush to prepare the holiday meal (scent can be intense to others-just be careful not to rub onto plates before serving!) or giving an announcement at a formal party. Wine is also optional but be mindful and responsible, no one likes a drunk.

3. Have you considered CBD?

They are so many studies supporting the promise of using CBD, or Cannabidiol oil. From being just as effective as anti-anxiety drugs, helping to boost gut health, and reducing inflammation, CBD oil has the potent healing potential to our health.

With so many options to choose from like gummies, bitters and infused treats, CBD is readily available on the market. My fave is by Cordial Organics ($32/ each dropper contains 5 mg CBD). Their bitters tincture can be added to your water or a cocktail for that “Celebrate Life” seal of approval after a stressful day of shopping for last minute gifts.

4. Peace out sugar

We weren’t meant to eat so much sugar and yet we (sometimes mindlessly) consume so much of it. It is estimated that humans eat nearly 66 pounds of sugar a year! Sugar is not only addicting but it is inflammatory and can drive up the anxiety levels. Try to keep track of sugar intake for a week.

Document your food intake using an app like MyFitnessPal so you can visually see the actual number of grams you are consuming on a daily. Sometimes, looking at the realistic (and numerical value) picture of what we are doing to ourselves can prompt us to make changes.

5. Breathe Out

It is no question. Breath work is a tool to implement towards your well-being. The evidence of committing to the practice can change the way the immune system can handle inflammation in the body. Breath work helps to strengthen and re-energize the parasympathetic nervous system which promotes a tranquil state. For more explanation on using this technique, see my previous post here!

6. Ask about L-theanine

This amino acid is has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and physiological stress associated with stress. It is suggested to aim for 200 milligrams once a day for the maximum benefit but do consult with a functional medicine practitioner to determine the best amount to take based on your bodily needs.

Last but not least, if you know someone who is suffering with anxiety especially during this holiday season, extend loving support and overstanding to them. Holding a heart space for someone to express their thoughts and experiences can help to manage the anxiety. Connections are crucial and they may benefit with the increased social support.