Survive the Holidays!

Overwhelmed with the holidays approaching? Fear not! Here are some tips that you can use to destress, unwind and more greatly enjoy the holiday season!

Many people use acupuncture for stress reduction—and even those who don’t admit to or notice stress in their lives report a greater sense of lightness and evenness to their moods after having acupuncture.

During the holiday season, many of us can benefit from the stress-reduction benefits of acupuncture. Regular acupuncture treatments are a fantastic way to stay healthy and emotionally balanced during high-stress times.

Including acupuncture, there are many ways to maintain a sense of wellbeing during this time of year. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your life to survive the fun (and at times, maddening) celebrations.

Increase your water intake

Increased water intake not only helps balance out the body’s fluids, it also helps with the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and controlling cravings
  • Makes your muscles work more efficiently
  • Keeps skin looking good
  • Helps your kidneys in the natural removal of toxins

I recommend starting every day with a large glass of lukewarm water. Fill your favorite glass with water and drink it slowly, followed by taking some deep breaths into your abdomen. This morning ritual helps keep your body hydrated and relaxed, especially at a time when elevated amounts of alcohol and caffeine intake (both dehydrate the body) join with the high stress season.

There is a famous Chinese medical saying translated as, “If there is not free flow, there is pain. If there is free flow, there is no pain.” In other words, physical and emotional health are achieved when there is free flow throughout the channels of the body. Disease arises when the flow stops.

I encourage you to look at the patterns of your stress. Things rarely go according to plan. Whether it’s to do with travel, food or gift-giving, try to focus more on the big picture, and let go of the small stuff.

Get out in nature

Chinese medicine and naturopathy both have their basis in understanding our interactions with nature. Many of us spend too much time in artificial environments, glued to our screens.

Strive for balance

Acupuncture is all about balance. The goal of treatment is to tonify (give to) areas of deficiency and reduce (take from) areas of excess.  This principle also applies to holiday gift giving and time management.

Think about time and money in terms of balance. If you find yourself with extra time in the coming weeks, offer help to those who don’t. If you’re really strapped for time, ask for help. With gifts, ask yourself what you can offer that will help others without hurting you. Gifts come in all forms and should feel good on the receiving and giving end.

Find middle ground

By encouraging balance—of Yin and Yang, and excess and deficiency—acupuncture teaches us to find middle ground and appreciate moderation. It becomes a metaphor for not over- or underdoing it in life.

Holidays generally involve a lot of overdoing it—too much food, too many drinks, too much spending, too many late nights, too much stress. It happens, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for going to extremes in the other direction.

Develop mindfulness around daily tasks

Tune into the ordinary and drop your awareness into your body. Becoming aware of how we feel while we are engaging in daily tasks heightens our awareness. This is because it requires us to pay attention to subtle shifts in our being. When we are more present in each moment, we aren’t bogged down by the various holiday stressors that surround us.

To do this, pick a fairly mundane task—brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage. Do this task with utmost presence. If it’s brushing your teeth, notice the way the brush feels in your hand, how the toothpaste lathers inside your mouth, the sounds of the brush against your teeth.

Remember, you have agency

During the holiday season, it can be so easy to forget that we can make choices. We get to choose what we do and don’t do. We ultimately decide for ourselves how we respond to our experiences. As the saying goes, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.

Interested in a natural approach to your health needs? Give us a call at 503-287-4970, and Schedule an appointment today!