The holiday season is upon us, and mixed in with the joy and excitement are endless to-do lists and the stress of trying to do it all. Alongside the colder weather and dwindling daylight of the season, many people find themselves anxious, scattered, and fatigued throughout the holidays. Lean in to the natural impulse to slow down with nature and take a holistic approach to resting, relaxing, and recharging for a more joyful season focused on what matters most.
A Slow, Mindful Holiday Season
Once the leaves begin to fall, the holiday season begins in earnest and the days begin to rush by. There is so much to do! From planning family get-togethers, preparing holiday meals and treats, visiting with friends, and selecting the perfect gift for everyone on your list, the mental load can feel overwhelming. It is important to take a little time each day to care for yourself with a calming, holistic approach to finding more joy (and experiencing less stress) this winter.
Rest and Refuel
While we know that a healthy, balanced diet and a good night’s sleep are foundational to our wellbeing, the holidays can seriously disrupt our rhythms and routines. Though treats and libations are everywhere this time of year, be sure to balance these with a healthy diet of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains and seasonal fruits and vegetables, wherever and whenever possible. Prioritizing rest is also essential for your overall health during the holiday season and into the new year. A calming bedtime routine, coupled with periods of rest throughout the day, will help to keep you energized and focused throughout the busy weeks ahead.
Mindfulness to Calm the Chaos
It is all too easy to become overwhelmed with the busyness of the season. Our bodies signal this to us in different ways, through fatigue, muscle tension, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and difficulty focusing or managing emotions. Intentionally slowing down to focus on our bodies, breath, and thoughts is especially helpful. Research supports a variety of mindfulness techniques, so find what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine. Even a few minutes a day makes a big difference!
As you move through your day, find small moments to mindfully savour, such as the feeling of the cold air on your face, the twinkle of holiday lights, or the warming smell of cinnamon.
A more formal meditation practice is available and accessible for most people throughout the day. Simply taking a few minutes to sit comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply can work wonders on both physical and emotional stress. You may also wish to include some slow, gentle stretches or yoga postures. Journaling may also be useful in calming a busy mind - in addition to the shopping and to-do lists, be sure to jot down what thoughts and feelings are arising in an effort to release them. Alone or in combination, these small moments of mindfulness can help to keep you grounded, relaxed, and calm.
Find Your Holiday Zen
A nice, hot cup of tea is relaxing for many reasons. The benefits of tea can be found in every moment, from the ritual of preparing it, to cupping your hands around the warm mug and slowly sipping, to the nutrients in the teas themselves. Green tea, in particular, has been shown to have a wide variety of health benefits, including antioxidant action, lowering cholesterol, and improving brain function. It contains a unique amino acid, L-theanine, that has been shown to relax the mind without causing drowsiness.
With our modern lives and busy holiday schedules, additional support may be needed when that cup of tea is simply not possible. We recommend Zen Theanine® from AOR to help you manage feelings of stress, anxiety, racing thoughts, or for when you need help focusing or relaxing. This pure L-theanine supplement provides an optimal dose for fast-acting mental relaxation, taking effect within 30 minutes without causing drowsiness. Research has shown this amino acid influences levels of neurotransmitters in the brain to help balance mood, sleep, and even learning capacity. In essence, L-theanine promotes a feeling of “zen” - a calm, but alert focus to help you get it all done with more joy.
Relax and Recharge
Even at the best of times, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave us feeling depleted, scattered, or even burned out by stress. During periods of prolonged stress, additional support can make all the difference. Relax and Recharge from AOR is a natural formula containing two adaptogenic herbs, rhodiola and ashwagandha, that can help boost energy, improve focus, memory, and stamina, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Adaptogens help the body to adapt to stress, and both rhodiola and ashwagandha reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and help improve energy levels.
Health Benefits of Rhodiola and Ashwagandha
Also known as arctic root, rhodiola grows in cold, high-altitude regions and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat physical and mental fatigue. This adaptogenic herb helps the body adapt to stress by reducing cortisol (a stress hormone) while boosting energy. Research has shown that rhodiola can ease symptoms of burnout, improve concentration, and improve energy levels while reducing fatigue.
Ashwagandha, also called Indian ginseng, is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve energy, reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms of anxiety. It has also been shown to have antioxidant properties, aid in immune function, and improve cognition. Recent research has demonstrated that supplementing with ashwagandha has been shown to significantly reduce stress levels and have a positive impact on overall quality of life.
AOR’s Unique Advantage: A Natural Balance
This holiday season, be sure to put self-care at the top of your to-do list. Find moments of mindfulness, prioritize rest, and incorporate natural support for stress and fatigue to balance it all. Enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends with a relaxed body and a focused mind.
Please note: Always consult a healthcare professional before starting supplements.
At AOR, our vision is to transform health through natural, personalized, and therapeutic care. We seek to catalyze change and challenge conventions through continuous innovation. For twenty-eight years, it has been our mission to transform scientific research into evidence-based, natural health products that empower people to lead their best lives.