Holiday Stress Survival

by Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP & Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP

Stress…  Stress is something that none of us can avoid.  It comes in all forms and fashions.  Sometimes stress can be the amount of pressure we place on ourselves, or expectations that we have set for ourselves.  Stress can also come from family, HOLIDAYS, finances, lack of sleep, and having deadlines to meet.  Wait… those last five items seem to hit all at once around this time of year.   Nothing can completely eliminate the stress of the holidays but there are ways to manage it. 

Feed The Body With Nutrition:

  • Eat fresh whole foods (lots of fresh fruits, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and lean meats)
  • Avoid processed foods, fast foods and artificial sweeteners (such as Splenda, Aspartame, etc).  These foods will create extra stress on your body.  Save the “goodies” for good times with the family on the holiday.
  • Three- bite rule!!!!  When temptation gets the best of you at the office or a party, use the three- bite rule.  Pick out your treat, and take three bites of it, discard the rest.  Chew each bite very slowly to savor the flavor and the texture of the food.  This will also help to reduce your calorie consumption!  Remember, Desserts spelled backwards is Stressed!
  • Going to a party?  Do not hesitate to ask the host or hostess what foods will be served.  When in doubt, eat a healthy snack before arriving.  This will reduce your hunger and cravings prior to any social event.
  • Do not feel obligated to “clean” the plates of your children or spouse.  This will only add extra calories that will add extra stress to your body.  Do not feel obligated to “clean” your own plate either.  When you are full, stop eating!  Not sure if you are full? Push your plate away and wait 20 minutes before eating more.
  • Avoid caffeine!!!  Oh no, this will be a tough one.  Caffeine actually contributes to nervousness, disrupts sleep patterns and can over stress the Adrenal glands.  This can leave you to feeling even more tired and stressed. 

Extra Nutrients Help The Body Adapt To Stress:

  • Pantothenic Acid:  1,000- 2,000 mg daily.  This will nourish the adrenal glands and boost your energy level without feeling “stimulated”.  (take with a B-complex if you are not on a good multi-vitamin)
  • Ashwagandha:  (Withania somnifera) This herb is an adaptogen and helps the body cope more appropriately with stress, leaving you relaxed and energized.  It boosts endurance, stamina and sexual energy.  It enhances resistance to occasional stress.  It is refreshing to the mind as well as the body and is soothing and calming to the nervous system.  It can also help you in falling asleep naturally.  Up to 800mg twice daily
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS):  If you are in need of brain support during stress this nutrient not only serves as a Cortisol blocker, but also protects brain function.  Some clients have experienced a reduction of “forgetfulness” during stress.
  • Antioxidants:  Stress will strip the body of protective antioxidants. This can lead to cellular destruction and damage.  Please increase your antioxidant intake this holiday season.  You can do this by increasing your consumption of fresh or frozen berries, or by purchasing an antioxidant from Georgia’s Naturals.  There are many to choose from:  Goji, Noni, Sea Buckthorn, Acia Berry, Resveratrol, etc.  Come to Georgia’s Naturals and we can help you decide what is right for you.
  • Medicinal Mushrooms:   Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress and supports energy and stamina.  Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) enhances the body’s natural metabolic systems, supports energy and stamina, and oxygen uptake.  Medicinal mushrooms are nutritious and high in anti-oxidants.  Georgia’s Naturals carries high quality Host Defense medicinal mushroom supplements.
  • Rescue Remedy:  This is made up of 5 Bach Flower remedies that are used in combination to help relieve stress and anxiety.  It can be used as needed, as often as needed and is not contraindicated with anything else.  Custom Bach Flower Remedy combinations can made specifically for you and for your stressful situation.  Please inquire.
  • L-Lysine & Vitamin C:  Be careful not to overeat nuts, wheat, sesame and grapes, with all of the holiday yummies. These foods are are high in arginine, which stimulates HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) replication. Lysine can block arginine.  Offending foods, coupled with stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol can trigger the herpes virus to become active.  This can show up as genital herpes, cold sores and possibly shingles.  Supplementing daily with a combination of 1200mg of L-lysine with vitamin C can help prevent an outbreak and may reduce the severity, if caught early enough.  During an outbreak it is not unusual to supplement with 3000 mg – 9000mg daily (in divided doses).  A good time-released Vitamin C dosed to bowel tolerance works well with L-Lysine supplementation.  Always consult your healthcare provider before using any supplementation.  Topically, Ingleshay Eamcray cream and Melissa officinales essential oil are both effective.  Herpasor Lip Salve is great for cold sores.  You can find them at Georgia’s!

Feed The Soul:

  • Deep Breathing:  This can be done anytime, anywhere.  Deep breathing can be relaxing, and reduces stress.  Place one hand on your abdomen; inhale through your nose (being mindful to inhale using your diaphragm).  Your hand should rise with each inhale.  Hold for just a couple of seconds, and exhale slowly though your mouth.  Repeat 4 to 5 times.  We can live weeks without food, days without water, but only seconds without oxygen!
  • Reduce noise levels:  When you can control your environment, turn down or turn off radios and televisions.  Noise can contribute to stress
  • Be prepared for hassles and delays:  When shopping, tell yourself that the store will be crowded, the lines will be long, and sadly most shoppers will be in a hurry.  Parking lots will become a danger zone, and traffic will be congested.  Prepare yourself so that you can make the best of any situation. 
  • Aromatherapy:  Essential oils work wonders for the mind, body and soul.  Massage them into the bottom of your feet.  Remember to dilute essential oils 1:4 with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or almond oil, before applying to the skin.    Lavender is a great choice.
  • Make “YOU” time:  Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to meditate, pray, or to sit in silence.  No excuses, it’s only 10 to 15 minutes!  Set aside time once a week for a soak in the tub.  Take a short walk everyday to clear your mind.
  • Sing!  Sing to the radio, in the shower or just from the heart.  Singing improves circulation and releases endorphins in the body that relieve pain and reduce stress.
  • Love, laughter and gratitude can all help reduce stress.

Feed Your Sleep Bank:

  • Sleep is critical to all functions of mind and body.  The less sleep your body gets, the more affected it will be by stress.
  • Take control of your projects don’t let them control you.  Tell yourself what time you are going to bed and be in bed at that time.  You cannot “get it all done” in one day.
  • Prevent yourself from laying in bed worrying about what needs to be done the following day.  Write it down.  Studies show that writing down everything before you go to bed relieves your mind of stress.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Staying up until you get a “second wind”, releases cortisol and adds more stress on the adrenals. 
  • Practice good sleep hygiene.  Start getting ready for bed at 9:30, so you can be in bed by 10:00.  A relaxing bath, meditation, a nice cup of relaxing herbal tea could all be a part of “getting ready” for bed.
  • Make sure your room is dark.  Cover windows, no night lights, or illuminated clocks.  The body needs darkness for the pineal gland to secrete melatonin into the blood stream, a hormone that helps you sleep.  Turn off all WIFI signals.
  • Dreaming and recalling positive dreams can reduce cortisol levels and stress.  Vitamin B6 has been shown to improve memory retention and increase serotonin, which helps improve dream clarity when we sleep.

Extreme Stress:

  • Ask for help from other people.  Delegate some of the tasks on your list.
  • We can help with referrals for hypnosis or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for stress management.  These techniques help tremendously with extreme stress.
  • Are your adrenals tired or exhausted?  Consider a Natural Health Consultation for advice to bring your body back into balance.  Please inquire.
  • This time of year is often difficult emotionally for some people.  We can also help with referrals for counseling or emotional balancing, please inquire.

Food for Thought:

  • Hard times have fallen on most everyone.  Do not put undue stress on yourself by purchasing items outside of your budget.  Make a budget for gifts and stick to it.
  • Stress goes hand in hand with disease and illness, so eat a well-balanced diet, get regular physical exercise, avoid over-indulgence in alcohol and get plenty of sleep.  You are not responsible for everyone and everything, let go of it.  Release your perfectionism.  Focus on what is important.  Investment in your health is time well spent to avoid stress related illness.
  • The most important part of being with family for the holidays is… being with family.  Do not loose site of the joy you get from a house filled with family, friends and laughter.  Enjoy each other, and enjoy the moment.  Time spent with family and friends is more valuable than any gift that is given or received.

 Please have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season!

Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP

Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Darla Carrillo owns Georgia’s Naturals, Health Food & Vitamins, Inc., 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX.  She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Certified Natural Health Professional.  She offers a fabulous selection of supplements & gluten-free groceries.  She  does Nutritional Consultations and  Hair Analysis, by appointment.

Grace Bryce owns Gracie’s Garden, LLC, 3007 Dawn Dr., Suite 102, Georgetown, TX.  She is a Master Herbalist and a Certified Natural Health Professional.  She offers a number of services by appointment, such as Natural Health Consultations, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Ionic Footbaths as well as a line of herbal products, bulk dry & fresh herbs and custom herbal products.


*Nothing in this handout is meant to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease.  This is for educational purposes only and should not be a replacement for a Licensed Physician.


About Gracies Garden, LLC

Grace Bryce is a Clinical Herbalist and certified Transformational Breath® Facilitator. She is also a Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner, QRA Practitioner and Ordained Minister. Grace has been doing natural health consultations since 2008 and enjoys working with people. She formulates custom herbal products as requested and has a line of herbal products for sale. A number of services are offered to benefit the health of her clients through harmonizing energy. All products and services are available as a part of the sacred healing she practices. Grace is an avid gardener and has a passion for herbs. She loves organically growing herbs and formulating salves, lotions and tinctures. Helping people feel better is also something she is passionate about.
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1 Response to Holiday Stress Survival

  1. Pingback: 7 Tips For Back-To -School Stress Relief | Gracie's Garden, LLC

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