By: Melissa Crispell CNS, CNHP
We all know the holidays can be stressful. Forget the reindeer, Grandma got run over by the whole holiday season. As a matter of fact, as I write I’m only one day away from a full house and all that comes with it: cleaning, wrapping presents, preparing meals, setting up spare bedrooms, and wrapping up work projects. By the time you read this I’ll be able to declare victory over this holiday season and will be on to recovering my regularly scheduled programming.
It is important to look at what is causing the stress to know how to recover from it. In a 2015 Healthline study, 62% of the respondents reported their stress was “very or somewhat” elevated during the holidays. Some of the stressors listed were financial demands of the season, negotiating the interpersonal dynamics of the family, and maintaining personal health habits. Mental health professionals recommend a “shifting set” to help us prepare for and then reset from the holiday stress.
Shifting set refers to shifting cognitive strategies to better respond to the changes in our environment. This can be tough during any time of year but particularly during the holiday season. Shifting set is a type of executive functioning, a set of mental skills to help us get things done. The tools that we use daily like managing time, being attentive, switching focus, planning and organizing, recalling details can be in very high demand this time of year. If we’re not mindful, the constant state of stress can interfere with brain function, stress hormones, sleep patterns, and much more.
One way of reducing this stress is to evaluate how we want to spend our time and who we want to spend it with, what the holidays really mean to us, and are our expectations for the season reasonable. The holidays are certainly something to celebrate but not worth breaking the bank or our bodies.
A few tips to get back on track and make the most of the New Year and new opportunities are:
- DETOX! No matter how good or how poor your eating, drinking or sleeping habits were during the holiday season, January is a good time to detox your system. While we do have an innate detoxing ability, our bodies were not designed to handle the toxic load that we face on a daily basis. Wintertime is our bodies’ time to hunker down and hibernate. Use this time to nurture yourself with the PERQUE Detox bundle, foods to avoid list, and relaxation recommendations in The Joy in Living: Alkaline Way Guide.
- EVALUATE your morning routine. Studies show that your morning routine can determine the tone of the whole day. If you are rushing around, feeling stressed and unorganized, what kind of day are you setting yourself up for? Consider adding a stretching routine and a glass of water when you first wake up. Once you have successfully mastered that addition, maybe a morning meditation or reflection can be your next challenge?
- FIX your food! Stress can bring on many gut issues. Eat the foods that your body can easily digest, assimilate, and eliminate without immune burden. How will you know what foods those are? Have the LRA by ELISA/ACT test done. Easily transition to a healthier (and personalized) eating plan with the rotation meal plan included with every panel.
- RELAX! (Frankie says so!) Take time to enjoy the silence, the children’s laughter, the art projects you said you were going to complete last year and that book you have been writing for three years. It is super helpful and relaxing to incorporate Epsom salt/baking soda baths into your routine.
- ENERGIZE! With PERQUE Potent C Calibration and the Complete Bundle. Once you have completed your 30-day detox program you are ready to move into the alkalinizing stage. Choose foods that have an alkalinizing effect on your body along with PERQUE Mg Plus Guard and PERQUE Choline Citrate. Use our convenient pH strips to chart your progress to the 6.5-7.5 optimal zone.
Melissa Crispell is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Natural Health Provider, Certified Lifestyle Educator, Certified Wellness Coach, and Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. Melissa has been published in Living Well, DC Practice Insights and Acupuncture Today. In addition, she has spoken at the Easter Seals Annual Caregiver conference, Functional Medicine Success Summit, American Association for Naturopathic Physicians, and is a member of the Health Studies Collegium speaker’s bureau and National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
Melissa has served over 9 years as a Clinical Training Specialist for PERQUE Integrative Health, teaching physicians and providers all over the world how to grow their functional medicine practice using medical grade supplements and functional immunology. Melissa’s mission is to empower people of all health statuses to take control of their wellness journey. This includes debunking myths and sharing basic health concepts that are frequently overlooked. Melissa believes that when we have better information, we make better choices.