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Home Articles Beautiful Living - by Shanesha
Beautiful Living - by Shanesha
Keeping Your Cool This Holiday Season
Written by Dr. Shanesha Brooks-Tatum   

It’s so easy to get frazzled when we’re busy, functioning on little sleep, and feeling obligated to meet the needs and wants of so many family members and friends during the holiday season.  Before we know it, holiday stress can often snowball into colds, extreme fatigue, and general unhappiness.  During stressful times, I focus on incorporating easy but effective ways for managing stress and fatigue.  From drinking relaxing teas to developing a night-time ritual, we can stave off, or better yet, eliminate holiday stress takeovers in our lives.

Recently, I was working toward a due date for my book project.  I was waking earlier than normal and writing and editing for several hours each day, on top of completing other necessary tasks.  On the day that the book chapter was due, I pushed myself to my limits.  I took a couple of breaks and ate my meals, but I continued to work and work until I completed the chapter.  It was taxing.  After weeks of long writing days, I felt relieved after meeting the deadline and sending off the chapter.   But suddenly, I felt exhausted and wholly spent.  I ended up taking part of the next day off, but the morning after that, I started to come down with a cold. 

After making the choice to rest for part of the day to take care my myself and drink detox liquids, the signs of the cold went away, thankfully.  Once I realized the train I was on, one of intense work and little breaks or downtime, I began to take more care to incorporate small, stress-relieving activities in my schedule each day.  Here is what has worked for me this far:

Sipping Stress-Relieving Teas Daily:  Sipping stress-relieving teas in the evenings really helped me to recover from long and intense days.  I love the Stress Balance tea by Life Awareness and the Tulsi Ginger tea by Organic India, but there are so many blends out there.   Plus, you can make your own with chamomile, lavender, rose, skullcap, and other relaxing herbs by just doing a quick search for recipes.  Stock up on a few boxes of your favorites and keep them in rotation throughout the week.

Stretching Nightly: On evenings when I do not get a chance to do my planned workout, I take 8 – 10 minutes before bed to do some stretching.  I incorporate yoga poses like downward dog, upward dog and other stretches that help my body recover from a day of mostly sitting down.  When I wake the next morning, I feel more refreshed than on mornings where I neglected to do this the night before.

Sleeping Adequately:  It might seem cliché, but it is oh so important to get our 7-9 hours of sleep every night.  Our bodies need it to recover and repair, our minds need it to release and relax, and the benefits are endless.  Lack of sleep is often the cause of so many issues that I don’t want in my life (health challenges, stress magnification, etc.), so I try my best to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night and more if I can.   I’ve noticed that a full night’s sleep really does make a huge difference in how productive and enriching my days are.  Plus sipping stress-relieving teas before bed and incorporating a few stretches before I slip between the sheets makes my sleep all the more sweet.

I encourage you to find a few minutes to brew a cup of tea and stretch and relax your body.  Power off and go to bed earlier so that you can experience a lovelier holiday season, and a more inspired life.

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