Home Mental Health & Well-Being Festive Stress Support for a Season of Wellness

Festive Stress Support for a Season of Wellness

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The festive season is upon us, and with less than a month left to complete the never-ending to-do list, acknowledging the heightened stress that descends upon us alongside the festive dash is more important than ever. Cultivating some Christmas calm might seem impossible, but leading food-based supplement brand Cytoplan and mindfulness consultant Bev Alderson have put together a toolkit of Christmas calm with six stress busters and three stress-supporting supplements that might just help to prioritise your well-being a little more this year.

6 stress busters from mindfulness and stress management consultant Bev Alderson

  1. Breathe: Breathing in certain ways can help to calm the nervous system. A simple but effective way to do this is to inhale and exhale fully and slowly from your belly.  Don’t force the breath, but rather allow it to expand slowly with each breath cycle.  Do this 5–10 times. And relax!
  2. A minute of mindfulness: While a longer practice is advantageous, a one-minute meditation can be an effective way of interrupting, calming, and clearing your mind.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep: If you are sleep deprived, your body and mind will not have had the chance to restore and recharge overnight. You will be less likely to manage the demands of the day and maintain a positive disposition.  Aim to get 78 hours of sleep every day.
  4. Relax in a bath that contains a handful of epsom salts, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and half a cup of baking soda: This combo is believed to help draw out toxins, lower stress-related hormones, and balance your PH.  You could also try using essential oils, which help restore balance and reduce stress levels. Try rose, lavender, bergamot, or chamomile, which are all believed to be great stress busters.
  5. Set up your day: Try getting up 10 minutes earlier (I know, it doesn’t need to be every day!) to avoid the need to rush. Have a stretch, plan your day, or simply sit and enjoy a cuppa.
  6. Give back: It is easy, among all the business and the hype, to forget what Christmas is all about. Giving back (time or money) can be a wonderful way of cultivating the true spirit of Christmas and maintaining perspective.

3 supplements to support stress from Amanda Williams, CEO and nutritional therapist at Cytoplan

“During the festive season, we tend to consume fewer nutritional foods and naturally eat more high-sugar and high-fat comfort foods. In addition, we are usually more sleep-deprived from coping with heightened stress, have less time to relax, and are generally less confident in ourselves. Lack of nutritional support will have an effect on the ability to cope with rising stress levels, so using a supportive supplement such as ashwagandha might be helpful. Here are my top picks for supporting stress levels during the festive season:

Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera (aka ashwagandha) is an ayurvedic herb traditionally used to reduce stress and enhance well-being. It’s an adaptogen, which means that it is able to support the body to adapt to stress and may be particularly supportive over the festive period.”

L-Theanine

This amino acid, found in tea leaves, has demonstrated a wide range of health benefits, with its ability to promote calm and relaxation widely evidenced. Theanine can increase alpha brainwaves and the neurotransmitter GABA, which can have a calming but not sedative effect, so you can use L-theanine during the day or to support sleep at night.”

Biofood magnesium

It is well known that magnesium is easily depleted during times of stress, yet it is an important mineral that helps us deal with stress. Magnesium contributes to normal psychological function and the functioning of the nervous system, as well as to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Supplementing with magnesium can therefore be really beneficial over the festive period.”

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