I am sitting here writing this post after my mini pre-Christmas panic. How on earth did it get from the start of November to now a week off Christmas Day?! I thought I was organised; maybe I am; however, it doesn’t stop that feeling of ‘there is more to do.’ Don’t get me wrong, I adore Christmas and everything about it, what I don’t understand is the general rush and craziness associated. As we get closer to the end of the year, many feel under pressure, dealing with looming deadlines, increased financial demand, some have to work through or maybe have lost a loved one. I certainly don’t know all the answers, what I do know is the importance of taking a moment to stop…and breath. No matter how busy you are, or think you are, stop and take a moment.
Here are a few tips to get you through the Christmas period.
One thing we can do is look at our priorities, all too often we have too big ‘to do’ list and have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Unfortunately, these unrealistic expectations lead to exhaustion and disappointment that we didn’t get it all done.
What needs to be done now?…If it means stepping over and ignoring the mess in your home, fine, you can clean another day.
Woman are often labelled great ‘multi-taskers,’ and yes, we are. We can cook while helping out with homework, answer phone calls, feed our babies while placating and looking after the older children, organise work tasks and home demands. However, multitasking can also lead to the feeling that you never actually get anything done. So, when you feel overwhelmed, I recommend you focus on less and do it well. Don’t expect to get a million things done in one day; this is especially for mothers with very young children. Choose one or two things, and yes, congratulate yourself for getting them done.
An excellent teacher of mine always said, we cannot control what goes on around us, but we can learn to respond appropriately. It takes practice; I don’t think it matters whether we get this right, as long as we practice. I will often get patients to try mindfulness; this is one of the sites I suggest http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/
Mindfulness doesn’t require you to sit down and meditate, it just requires you to be in the moment, now…not thinking about what you should or could be doing.
These meditations run from 4 to 10 minutes, again, it just requires time and patience.
Bach Flower Essences
Bach flower essences come to mind for this time of year, you can buy them from a good health food shop, or your naturopath can make you up a treatment specific to your needs.
Elm is indicated for occasional feelings of inadequacy and exhaustion from over-striving. Elm exhaustion is temporary; it is when we momentarily lack self-confidence. Usually, when things are goingas planned, the Elm type will be well aware of their mission and be more than capable of fulfilling it, however, when they are out of balance the increased responsibility will make them feel the task is impossible to complete. Elm also supports the immune system especially during increased work and life demands.
Tissue salts are an alternative treatment to herbs if compliance due to taste is an issue, often they are overlooked; however, they are worth considering. Kali phos or Potassium phosphate, is a remedy indicated for this time of year as it nourishes the nervous system. It can help with irritability, insomnia, and malaise, which is not uncommon this time of the year. Symptoms aggravated by stress and worry can respond well to this remedy to ensure a smoother transition into the New Year.
Herbs to consider
Adaptogens are a class of herbs which help to body adapt to stress; they don’t just affect one body system they have a general effect and increase your resistance to pressure. Adaptogens are better to use long-term; they indeed are not a quick fix. Most adaptogens come from the root of a plant, which means making them up as a tea requires time, you need to stop and take time out to brew these herbs up as you can’t just throw the tea bag into a cup with boing water. Your herbalist or naturopath can also make these up into a liquid herbal mix if that is what you require.
Withania Somnifera, or Ashwagandha is a herb commonly used inAyurvedic medicine which helps to provide the vitality to help you get through your day. This particular herb also helps improve the quality of sleep which of course will mean increased productivity and clarity. Ashwagandha is an excellent herb when you feel ‘tired and wired,’ traditionally this herb is taken as a powder mixed into milk before bed to support a restful sleep (Herbal Academy New England 2014).
Ocimum tenuiflorum otherwise known as Holy Basil, is revered as the “Queen of herbs” in India and holds immense importance in Ayurvedic medicine. Holy Basil increases our capacity to cope with stress and enhances our ability to adapt to a stressful environment (Mohan, Amberkar & Kumari 2011). Many studies indicate Holy Basil has anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating and antioxidant, a first-class panacea! (Mohan et al. 2011). As a member of the mint family, it is a pleasant tasting herb, and there are some lovely teas available combining Holy Basil with other herbs to support your nervous system.
How does your stress manifest?
Lastly, try and determine where you hold your stress, some people hold it in their musculoskeletal system which manifests as headaches and muscle pain, others hold it in their stomachs which can result in IBS like symptoms or tummy aches and nausea. Everyone reacts differently, so it is essential to work out where you hold your stress, so you are better equipped to deal with it appropriately.
Natural medicine can support you in so many different ways; please speak to your healthcare practitioner to determine a treatment plan specific to your needs.
As I finished this blog post a lot closer to Christmas than I anticipated, you may want to refer back to this for Christmas 2018!
Libby Shaw is available for appointments this week and throughout January 2018. Call 1300 1REMED or 1300 173 633 or book online remed.com.au
Fisher, L 1993, The Clinical Science of Mineral Therapy, The Maurice Blackmore Research Foundation
Herbal Academy of New England, course notes, 2014
Mohan, L, Amberkar, MV & Kumari, M 2011, ‘Ocimum Sanctum Limm-Tulsi- An Overview’, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, vol.7, no. 1,pp. 51-53,viewed 11 December 2017, http://twcleansecommunity.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Tulsi-Research-Mohan-Ocimum-sanctum-an-overview.pdf
Optimal Rx, Technical Information-Holy Basil, viewed 11 December 2017
Wells, M 1996, The Bach Flowers Today, Autonomy Book