Bust Holiday Stress with Kava Kava!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in The Mind of Makaira | 0 comments

Tired Santa Claus Sitting On ChairThe winter holidays are supposed to be a time of reflection, giving thanks, and reconnecting with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many of us the holidays turn into a time of strife, disappointment, and pressure on our free time and checkbook. Let me be the first to tell you, dear readers, that it doesn’t have to be this way: with a few simple coping methods, you can cut down on your holiday stress and focus on what really matters during this special time. Kava kava can be one such ally in managing the turmoil and disruption of the holidays: proven effective for the management of daily stress*, kava can lift the spirits, balance mood* and reduce stress-related nerves*. Read on to discover more simple ways to bust holiday stress this winter season!

Like all stressors, holiday stress arises from a combination of external and internal demands; identifying and finding ways to cope with the pressures of the holiday is step one to a less stressful, happier, and more relaxing holiday. The most common holiday stressors are:

Unrealistic expectations: this is probably number one on anyone’s holiday stress list. Do you feel that you have to pull off the perfect holiday all by yourself, including decorating, cooking the big meal, and finding the perfect gifts for everyone you know, down to the mailroom employees at work? You might be a victim of holiday perfectionism. Unrealistic expectations often feed into the financial and time pressures many people experience over the holidays. They also contribute to a sense of let down after the holiday is over, fed by the feeling that the actual event didn’t live up to your expectations.

Family Tensions: The holidays often mean visits from relatives, and ideally these reunions provide a chance to reconnect with loved ones you might not see for the rest of the year. All too often however, family visits can rekindle old tensions, sibling rivalries, and competitiveness that can increase feelings of stress and the unhealthy drive for holiday perfectionism.

Financial and Time Pressures: Money is often cited as the number one source of stress at any time of year, but the holidays can make financial anxieties that much worse as you feel pressured to spend on food, decorations, gifts, and for many people, travel to visit relatives who don’t live nearby. The holidays can also make unprecendented demands on your time as friends and family invite you to an endless stream of get togethers and office parties, not to mention the time required to decorate the house, buy and wrap gifts, and prepare seasonal food. Whew!

Bust Holiday Stress with Kava Kava!

Feeling squeezed for time during the holidays? You’re not alone!

Disruptions in Routine: As a result of all this our normal routines are often thrown off track, which can be stressful in itself: you may find it more difficult to maintain a healthy diet, get regular sleep, and find time for exercise amongst the holiday rush. Unfortunately, it is exactly these kinds of healthy habits that can provide much-needed help in fending off holiday stress. Thus, the longer your normal rythym is disrupted, the more frazzled you’ll probably become. Thankfully, there are ways you can mitigate these holiday stressors and restore that much-needed balance to your life even in this busiest season.

Develop realistic expectations: Rather than trying to do and be everything this holiday, set realistic holiday expectations for yourself and your family. Rather than spending a boatload on presents, make a holiday budget and find ways to stay within it: this could mean homemade gifts, like a jar of the ingredients for your favorite cookies with a recipe attached. Gifts like these are not only easy, but personal and heartfelt. Likewise, share the holiday work by enlisting help in decorating and cooking rather than trying to do it all yourself. If you’re hosting the big dinner or party, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to help out with side dishes, appetizers, or drinks. When you’re not trying to do everything, you’ll be able to spend more time on the traditions that matter to you.

Learn the art of saying “no”: Overcommitment is a recipe for holiday stress. Instead of saying yes to every party invitation, pick the occasions that matter the most to you and make time for them. With each invitation, consider whether you really want to go: is it an intimate family event, friendly get-together, or office party #10? Once you start to prioritize these holiday occasions, your bulging schedule should thin out considerably. A definite plus of limiting your appearances is that it also means fewer opportunities to indulge in alcohol and rich food.

Maintain Healthy Routines: Nothing takes a beating during the holidays like our routines, especially getting enough sleep and finding time for exercise, health habits that can be difficult at the best of times. Yet it’s worth the extra effort to maintain health-supporting routines during this disruptive time. If it helps, set a timer on your phone or clock to remind you to eat meals and go to bed at a consistent time; you can also use a timer to establish a quiet period for simple relaxation, meditation, or exercise. Something as simple as twenty minutes to a half hour of walking or yoga a day can greatly reduce stress while improving cardiovascular health, digestion, and immune response. Eating regular meals can also help you be more mindful of your eating and drinking habits, making it easier to refuse offers of holiday snacks and drinks. You’ll feel better and your waistline will thank you!

Meditate on what the holiday means to you: As the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice traditionally marked the end of one year and the beginning of the next. In Europe, the period between the solstice and the feast of the Epiphany in January (immortalized in the carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas”) represented an interim period between the old year and the new in which people reflected on and peacefully let the old year go. No matter what holiday you celebrate, try taking some time to relax and meditate on what the past year has meant to you and what you hope to accomplish in the next.

Bust Holiday Stress with Kava Kava!

Meditation isn’t just for monks; taking a few minutes to reflect over the meaning of the holiday can bust stress and leave you feeling ready to tackle the new year.

Try herbal stress busters: Combined with the healthy practices above, herbal supplements can be a powerful tool for mitigating holiday strife. When it comes to managing daily stress*, kava kava has proven effective through centuries of safe use in the South Pacific. At Kona Kava Farm we offer kava in a number of easy-to-use forms for quick stress relief, including capsules, pastes, instant kava, and Kava Zen’d elixir, which combines calming kava with valerian, passionflower, and lemon balm for a truly relaxing experience*. Other stress-busting supplements include adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng and maca root, citrus essential oils, and vitamins and minerals such as the B-complex, vitamins C and D, magnesium, and folic acid.

By following the simple tips above, you can start enjoying the holidays again!

Aloha no,

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