I never quite understand how it happens so quickly, but once Halloween comes and goes the holidays seem to come around like the blink of an eye. And with them come the added demands and the stress that accompany the holiday season.  Although the holiday season is one of my favorite parts of the year, admittedly it can be one of the most stressful as well.  Considering that we are already a culture obsessed with busy, it becomes even more evident during the holidays.  There is all the decorating, an influx of invitations for social gatherings and the accompanying pressure to say yes, special meals that need to be prepared, the demands of hosting your friends and family, and of course, finding the perfect gifts all while still completing your routine daily tasks.  Add to it the increase in spending, the indulging of food and alcohol, and a lack of sleep and you have the perfect recipe for stress! 

It is not surprising that even the most calm and sensible individuals can lose it a little during the holiday season.  We have all seen it happen and we have all even been there ourselves. Here are a few things you can do to hopefully combat the stress and feel less overwhelmed during this period.           

ACCEPT IT, STRESS IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Accept that stress is going to happen during this time of the year.  It’s unrealistic to expect to be Zen the whole time and our best defense against it is to find ways to manage it. 

RANK WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU

Take the time to make an accurate and reasonable plan for your holidays. Rank the activities that are most important to you.  The traditions that you would regret not doing should be scheduled first and then plan around them before you begin adding any additional activities. 

IT’S OK TO SAY NO

Make sure you keep your time and budget in mind and don’t forget to factor in your daily obligations as well.  While you may get by ignoring your daily tasks some days, try your best to stick to your normal routine and remember that it is okay to say no.  You will not be able to attend everything and do everything, and that’s okay.

TOSS THE FAIRY TALE IMAGE

Toss that perfect fairy tale image you have of what the holidays should look like.  You know the one you see portrayed in movies and television, it is simply not real life and trying to maintain or exceed those expectations will just stress you out even more.  There will be breaks in plans, delays, and interruptions. If you are like me you will forget something on at least one occasion and burn a recipe along the way too.  Just remind yourself that you are not perfect and you don’t have to be to enjoy the holidays.  Try your best not to get caught up in the consumerism and remember that spending more and acquiring more does not equate to a happier holiday season.  

SOCIAL MEDIA – THEY’RE LIFE REALLY ISN’T THAT PERFECT

Resist the urge to compare your experiences to what you see being posted online.  Remember that everyone is posting highlights and more likely than not what you see as a perfect situation is actually far from it.  Be more concerned with actually experiencing your holidays and taking in every bit of that with your loved ones and less concerned with how your holidays look to others.

SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY HELP

Of course, even if we focus on what is really important and have the best intentions, we may still find that we struggle with stress and an ill mood.  Olympian Labs has formulated some effective supplements that can assist you with just this. My personal favorites are Corti-Cut, Calm and 5-HTP. Here’s a list of supplements that may give you that little bit of extra help to beat the holiday stress.

STRESS EATTING

Olympian Labs Corti-Cut is extremely helpful if you are stress eating to get through the holidays.  The combination of Rhodiola Rosea, Green Tea Extract, Phosphatidylserine, essential fatty acids, L-Thiamine, and Magnolia Extract will help stabilize your cortisol levels and also support the body with improved mental alertness. 

ANXIETY

If you find that you are struggling with an inability to relax and you find yourself angry, anxious or depressed during the holidays, Olympian Labs Calm is a terrific choice.  Its unique formula is designed to provide nutrients that help your mind and body manage your reactions to anxiety and stress.  With nutrients, such as GABA, L-Tyrosine, and Motherwort, it may help your mind and body deal more effectively with the anxiety and stress-related symptoms that you experience during the holidays. 

MOOD SWINGS

5-HTP can also be used to elevate your mood.  It is a drug-free and naturally occurring plant-derived amino acid that aids in the body’s fusion of serotonin.  Serotonin is the “feel-good” chemical messenger that is pivotal in controlling appetite, sleep, and an enhanced mood.  5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system to increase serotonin production to help reduce stress and anxiety as well as promote a calm and relaxed mood.           

SLEEP

If you discover that the increased stress from the holiday season is interrupting your ability to get a good night’s rest you may benefit from Olympian Labs Melatonin and Rest Easy supplements.  Both of these supplements are drug-free and formulated to restore your natural sleeping patterns.

JUST HELP ME SLEEP

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body and secreted at night to tell our body to rest.  When we are stressed, our natural melatonin production is suppressed and the result is the inability to sleep.  When taken as a dietary supplement it enhances the amount of natural melatonin produced by the body during sleeping hours leading to more restful sleep.  This is especially helpful if you find yourself hopping time zones and getting jet lag.

HELP ME SLEEP AND CALM MY MIND

Rest Easy is a blend of the herbs Valerian Root, DMAE, and GABA with the addition of Melatonin as well to support the ability to fall asleep faster and promote healthy sleep cycles.  This particular blend of herbs will reduce your anxiety and stress inducing a peace and calm that can improve your ability to fall asleep.  While the Melatonin in it will help to keep you rested once you are sleeping.

So whether you choose to go all out during the holidays or prefer something on a smaller scale know that there are several ways for you to manage the stress or restlessness that you will experience at some point.  Keep a positive mindset and take a little time to plan for what you can do and be realistic with your expectations.  The holidays should be a time you enjoy with your loved ones, not something you dread.  After all, life is short and the holiday season is even shorter.  It will come and go before you know it, so enjoy it!

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