Holiday Stress Management
The holidays are here again. Families are gathering, office parties are taking place, and people are experiencing high levels of anxiety, worrying about how they are going to avoid the gatherings or the inevitable emotional strain of misinterpreted communication.
But this is the season of peace and joy, right? Family, forgiveness and faith. For some, it is only greed, grudges and grief. This is the season most loved by many, and simply stressful for others. What can they do to get through it?
Stress can be considered a lifestyle. Many “Type A” personalities who are accomplishment-driven do not perceive stress. They see challenges, and take them on joyfully. A wise man once told me, “Stress is simply a lack of confidence.” I have chewed on that thought often over the years, and can admit that I feel most stressed when I feel the least amount of control.
Stress management is truly a body, mind, spirit issue. When we feel stressed-out, we often think of a “comfort” food or drink – sugar, salt and alcohol are the most common choices. These cause the body to become acidic, which affects the way we think. Naturopaths consider the colon to be the “second brain” of the body. “Stinkin’ thinkin’” is a common term. When we are not digesting and eliminating properly, the brain can’t do its job. As stress increases, healthy food choices continue to disappear. Is there a way out of this loop?
Exercise would be a wise choice. Simply walking for 15 minutes a day will encourage the brain to desire better food choices, such as green vegetables and high quality proteins. Breathing deeply while walking in the fresh air will clear the mind and open it up to see a bigger picture.
Meditation is helpful for reducing the emotional reactive process. It reduces heart rate and calms the body. A meditation practice does not have to involve a religion. And as it becomes more mainstream, the instructions are becoming more simplified.
Reiki is very helpful for calming, focus, and pain management. It is possible to receive a treatment from a practitioner, or take a class and learn to apply it to oneself.
Communication courses are also highly recommended. Much of the stress of get-togethers involves fearing the conversations that happen annually, as grudges and griefs are aired. The Human Awareness Institute teaches boundaries: how to honor our yeses and nos in a peaceful way. Landmark Education gives a great perspective of our life stories and old conclusions that no longer apply, as well as how to create a new story. There are nonviolent communication groups in most communities.
Further, there are herbal supplements, flower essences and essential oils that help with anxiety and stress. Lavender is a very popular flower that helps to calm the mind and body.
To conclude, always remember that you have choices, and there is support for learning strategies to get through difficult situations. You are not alone. Use the Body Mind Spirit Guide as a roadmap for taking the first step in eliminating the loop that causes you to feel that there is no way out. We are here for you.
About the writer: Mary Teresa Hickey
Mary Teresa has been a student of healing for over 20 years, including shamanism at The Four Winds Light Body School, naturopathy at Trinity College, Reiki Master at ICRT, and Master of Science at CMU. Her services include nutrition, herbs, Reiki and shamanic energy healing for persons and pets. www.facebook.com/ singingshaman777