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One of the the many things I'm excited to write about in more detail over the coming months is stress.

Most of us are aware the impact that eating well and exercise has on our health. But the far-reaching negative effects of stress is something our society is less aware of. Stress can cause both immediate and long-term health problems, diseases, disruptions to regular body rhythms and processes, and emotional and mental distress and issues. Many times, our body is under stress, and we aren't even aware of it. 

The holiday season is notorious for causing stress. Here are a few tips to reduce stress this time of year: 

BE FINANCIALLY AWARE. The financial burdens that many of us take on during the holidays can affect us now and carry through to the new year.  Creating and sticking to a budget to avoid overspending can help reduce stress.

FINISH YOUR SHOPPING NOW (if you haven't already). Stress is often caused by poor planning and or execution. Making your list & checking it twice will make life a little easier in a few weeks!

DON'T COMPLETELY DITCH YOUR HEALTHY ROUTINE. The holidays are known for being a time of indulgence. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on the healthy choices you've already been making. We tend to have an all or nothing mindset about our health. I.e., I had an entire box of Krispy Kremes for breakfast, so it doesn't matter what I do the rest of the day. Wrong. Even if you're indulging in your holiday favorites (which you should be, as part of a healthy eating relationship), you can still take care of yourself. You can have a salad after that box of Krispy Kremes, hit the gym, and then get a good night's sleep. 

MAINTAIN OR CREATE BOUNDARIES. Boundaries are what make the grown-up world go round. Having healthy emotional boundaries with those close to us can greatly reduce stress. Especially during the holidays when we are spending more time with family. Boundaries are something children of divorce (like myself) HAVE to have, or we'll go insane. It's as simple as being aware of topics or situations that can cause stress for ourselves or others, and then choosing to avoid them or navigate around them. 

INCREASE STRESS-BANISHING NUTRIENTS. Specifically, magnesium. A deficiency of magnesium can increase anxiety and other mood disorders, and when we are stressed, our bodies soak up magnesium like crazy (1).  So if you're already feeling stressed, the time to increase magnesium is yesterday. My favorite way to get magnesium is with Natural Calm. It truly does calm you down, so I prefer to take it before bed. It's also great for kids who have a hard time winding down!

This recipe persimmon chia pudding, with Calm added to the chia pudding, would be a great dessert / late night snack to help unwind. I loved reading about stress-beating benefits persimmons had too! 



Katie Buchanan