Managing Holiday Stress – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 467
InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
Every year, they do these different studies that show how stressed out people get when it comes to the holidays. It varies in terms of what actually drives those different stressors. For some people it can be financial, for others it can be the stress of having to deal with family. For many people, it’s the stress that’s brought on because they don’t feel like they have enough time to accomplish everything. Today, I want to talk about stress and the holiday season and different nutrients that might be very supportive when it comes to managing your holiday stressors.†
How stress impacts your overall health
We know that stress is incredibly detrimental to our health. We’ve seen the different studies that show the systemic impact of what actually occurs in the body when we have these different conditions that drive up these demands in our system. It creates an imbalance and we lose equilibrium.†
The primary pathway to which stress is driven is through the adrenal pathway with the release of cortisol, but we know that many other pathways are impacted by stress. When we think of holiday stress, we can start to look at the impact of serotonin, acetylcholine and GABA within the body. We know that GABA helps to keep us calm, but if you’re overly stressed, it may be that your GABA is being released in inadequate amounts. We can also look at imbalances of blood glucose, the loss of immune function and more.†
Supporting your body during the holidays
We want to make sure that we are making it through the holiday season as stress-free as possible. There will be stress that you can’t avoid, but we want to be able to manage it. This is why you want to stick to a diet during the holiday season that is going to help enhance your overall health and offset the impact of stress. Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet is beneficial.†
We also want to be able to inhibit some of those stress pathways. Different herbal extracts and adaptogenic herbs, for example, can be very beneficial. During the holiday time, I often will turn people to rhodiola. Rhodiola is working on two different fronts. Number one, we know it’s an adrenal adaptogenic herb, so it’s going to yield us this benefit when it comes to offsetting the negative impact that excess cortisol can bring about in the system. We also know that rhodiola helps with energy production, so at the cellular level, this is a great thing for helping to drive up ATP. If you are stressed out trying to get all of these different things done during the holidays and you feel like time is ticking, getting rhodiola on board can give you that extra little boost.†
The other thing that I would certainly encourage people to look into during the holidays would be something like L-theanine. We want to target those neurotransmitter pathways, especially to help enhance the release of GABA. GABA is important for helping us stay calm. When we are taking L-theanine as a supplement, this helps to allow the facilitation of GABA’s release. The L-theanine is very mild in terms of its targeted approach and helps to enhance the way that the body manages anxiety and stress.†
In this episode, Amanda Williams, MPH discusses the stresses of the holiday season. She explains how stress impacts the body and details multiple nutrients that can help fend off these harmful effects.†
- What is cortisol?
- The kinds of stress that you can’t avoid
- What to eat in place of processed foods
- What is GABA?
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