Creating a Stress-Free Holiday

The holidays are upon us – a time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to quite the load of stress.After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones. Not to mention your normal everyday life.It can be overwhelming, to say the least.

I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to navigate this busy, stressful time of year and make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful, and a time you will remember fondly.

These secret weapons of mine include…

Put forth great effort to be present.It can be difficult, I understand.It’s almost a reflex to pick up our phones and scroll through Facebook or our email when we have a free moment – do you do the same?One way I like to dodge this is to leave my electronics in another room.Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones.When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses.What do I smell?What do I hear?What do I feel?Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else.It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays!

Let go of those expectations.A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect.That’d be lovely, of course – but when putting your entire extended family in one house something is bound to go awry.Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something doesn’t go according to plan.There is joy to be found in each situation, so spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can.Tis the season!

Find time to move.It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel.Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner, make it a habit to bundle up in your favorite scarf and winter coat to go for a walk to clear your mind. Be sure that you are getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.

What are your favorite ways to get some movement in during the cold months? I have two favorite ways: 20 minutes of yoga stretches or putting on my favorite music and dancing it out. Post a comment and tell me about your favorite way to stay moving this season!

Set time aside for yourself because you matter! An Epsom salt bath works wonders. Put some essential oil in the diffuser and read your favorite book for an hour. Go for a walk in nature and clear your head and enjoy the earthy smells of the season.

Here are a couple of my favorite aromatherapy blends to stay grounded and nurture yourself.

Visit Angela’s Apothecary for more aromatics health solutions

If you are interesting in working with me go to www.AngelaSidlo.com

Hormone-Induced Depression – Finding Balance

When we were younger we had lots of energy, and most days we were happy and motivated to face each day. We looked forward to our future. As we age, we take on more responsibilities because we’re superwomen, right? We take care of everyone else and can fall into the rut of not making time for ourselves. We seem to never have enough time for healthy meals and enough sleep. Our bodies do the best they can to keep us healthy, but over time the lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress can take their toll. Maybe we start with just one deficit, but then one thing leads to another and our hormones become out of balance, and we feel like we are in a hole we can’t get out of. This can lead to hormone-induced depression.

WHAT IS HORMONE-INDUCED DEPRESSION?

There are many causes of depression. The type of depression that can occur during peri-menopause and menopause is due to the reduction in Estrogen. Some symptoms may include feelings of being overwhelmed, confusion, a sense of loneliness, and lack of support. Women need estrogen to increase serotonin and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain. Low estrogen levels can also affect critical thinking and short-term memory. Serotonin is a hormone that supports our sense of wellbeing and positive mood. There are many simple actions we can take to help our body increase our estrogen naturally.

If your depression is persistent and affects your ability to take care of your daily needs such as work, eating, and being social, please see your healthcare professional. You do not need to suffer!

THREE DIFFERENT FORMS OF ESTROGEN

Estrogen is produced in the ovaries until menopause. After menstruation stops our liver and adrenals take over the production of estrogen. The liver and gastrointestinal tract break down and metabolize three forms of estrogen. Estrogen breaks down into one good form, 2-hydroxyestrone, which protects against cancer. The other two forms 4-Hydroxyestrone, and 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone promote cancer. One of the simplest things you can do is eat a diet high in insoluble fiber such as green beans, peas, carrots, and seeds. The unhealthy estrogen forms will attach to the fiber and be eliminated with your feces and not reabsorbed. A healthy gut biome will also help break down the unhealthy forms of estrogen. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt are sources of good gut bacteria.

SELF-CARE – NATURAL REMEDIES

Depression is not a sign of weakness – it means you have been strong for far too long. Put yourself first! Let others assist and support you.

Diet

  • Avoid refined sugars
  • Eliminate all artificial sweeteners
  • Eat lignin-rich fibers (flaxseed for example)
  • If you eat meat, make sure it is hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and organic
  • Consider including black cohosh, B-complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, fish oil, evening primrose, and flaxseed oil in your daily supplements
  • Avoid foods that stress your adrenal glands (the glands that help you respond to stress), such as alcohol and caffeine.

Reduce Stress

  • Meditate (A great app is Meditate Me) This can be as simple as quieting your mind for 5-10 minutes, say hello, and release any thoughts that come up. If there is to much chatter in your mind, pick a mantra. It could be as simple as “I love myself” or say this affirmation from Louise Hay: “I choose to fill my life with joy.”
  • Make sure your sleep is restful. Take a media break. No electronics, TV, or phone two hours before bed.
  • Learn Tai Chi. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner accompanied by deep breathing. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. This motion helps move your energy and stimulate all the organs that create your hormones.
  • Make your own blend of supporting essentials oils. Roll on and rub into the acupressure points around and below your knees. Another good acupressure point is along the radial artery, below your wrist where you would take your pulse. These points strengthen and uplift your Qi, or life force.

Inspiration

“Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.” From Regina Brett.

“Remember, it is time to take care of yourself. Let’s become the Menopause Goddesses that we were meant to be!” From Christiane Northrup, MD

“Today is going to be a really, really good day!” From Louise Hay

A good reference is Unleash the Power of the Female Brain by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

QUALITY

Always buy the best quality essential oils. There are many sources now. Not all are pure, not all are handled with love. Do not use oils if the company will not provide Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry(GC/MS) reports showing they were tested for chemical content and purity.

SAFETY

NEVER take essential oils internally. Essential oils can cause ulceration of your internal tissues. Always dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil for external use. The essential oils are “carried” by the fat molecules in the carrier oil into your cells to absorb the essential oil safely. Carrier oils can include jojoba, olive, almond oils, aloe vera gel or juice, or natural lotion. Please use organic carrier oils whenever possible. Read the ingredient labels; know what you are putting on your skin. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Remember essential oils are highly concentrated one drop of peppermint is equivalent to 25 cups of peppermint tea. It takes 30 pounds of lavender flowers to make 300 drops of lavender essential oil.

DISCLAIMER

This information is based on research and shared for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe or treat any health concerns. If you are taking any medication, pregnant or nursing you should check with your healthcare provider before adding or changing anything.