Although many people connote winter with the holiday season that brings a lot of joy and happy memories, it is also perhaps the most stressful time of the year.
Burning deadlines, limited time and money for buying an enormous amount of presents, last-minute Christmas meal preparations — all of these situations sound intimidating, let alone trying to accomplish them without having a mental breakdown in the meantime.
Below, you will find a list of several natural ingredients you can add to your diet to help yourself manage your stress levels and avoid losing your mind.
They include but are not limited to Rhodiola Rosea, cannabidiol (CBD), ashwagandha, kava, and valerian root. Continue reading to learn more about dealing with stress naturally and effectively.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an all-natural compound found in cannabis plants like hemp. Although CBD is a different substance than THC, it has similar calming effects that make it an effective treatment option for anxiety and stress.
CBD can help reduce cortisol levels in the body and boost GABA levels. It also helps produce dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which helps you feel happier and relaxed. CBD can also help suppress pain sensations and reduce inflammation.
Currently, there are many CBD products on the market, including oils, tinctures, and pills for sublingual ingestion or topicals like balms, creams, and salves. You can also find CBD-based edibles — for example, Kimberly-James offers CBD softgels — an easy-to-swallow format that increases the chance of getting the best results of using CBD.
CBD is generally safe for consumption and does not produce any negative side effects on the body (when taken in moderate doses). However, CBD should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women because it passes into breast milk and may affect the baby’s nervous system.
Rhodiola Rosea is a plant that grows in the Arctic region of Russia, Scandinavia, and Canada. It has been used for centuries as an adaptogen to help people deal with stress and its effects.
Adaptogens are herbal ingredients that can balance the body’s reaction to stress by working on certain neurotransmitters and hormones.
The active compound in Rhodiola is called Salidroside, which helps to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and boosts serotonin and dopamine levels.
Kava is another all-natural herb known for its ability to reduce stress. It does so by reducing cortisol levels, and it also helps you relax naturally. In fact, it works similarly to valerian root, which we will cover next.
Kava is native to the western Pacific region and has been used in medicine, rituals, and social activities since ancient times.
Today, this herb treats several conditions, including low back pain and anxiety. Kava contains several active compounds that, when combined together, provide a calming effect for the body. The active compound in kava is called kavalactones.
Valerian root is known to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. It works by reducing cortisol levels and boosting GABA levels in the body. Studies have shown that this herb can be helpful for people who suffer from chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.
The active compound in the valerian root is called valerenic acid. This herb also has calming effects on the central nervous system, which helps you relax and unwind better.
Ashwagandha root is another natural herb that helps reduce stress. Ashwagandha is native to India and Asia, but it’s also used in North America and Europe. It has been used for centuries as an adaptogen to help with a number of conditions, including stress.
The active compounds in ashwagandha can help you manage your stress levels better during the holiday season. Ashwagandha helps reduce cortisol levels in the body, and it has also been shown to improve energy levels, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is another safe and natural ingredient that you can use to reduce anxiety and stress. This essential oil has been used for centuries for its calming effects, but it’s also very commonly used as an aromatherapy ingredient.
Lavender oil might reduce stress levels, relax and sleep better. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for soothing inflamed skin and supporting your body’s immune system.
In general, it’s best to use lavender oil topically or as the lead ingredient in your aromatherapy.
Although lavender oil doesn’t have any adverse side effects, it might interact with medications like blood thinners, birth control pills, and antidepressants. Therefore, it’s best to avoid using this oil if you are currently taking any medications.
Although we all love the holiday season, it can also be very stressful due to many reasons. Financial pressure, time constraints, last-minute tasks — all these factors can contribute to a higher level of stress and anxiety during the holiday season. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare yourself for the season by building up your stress management game plan in advance.
Using the above-mentioned natural ingredients can be very helpful for reducing your stress during the holidays. They will help you feel relaxed and focused while enjoying this season to the fullest without feeling overwhelmed by stress. Nonetheless, it’s vital to keep in mind that you should always consult with a medical professional before adding any of these ingredients to your diet.