| Abigail McShinsky |
I hate to be “that guy,” but winter is here. Depending on where in the country you live, you may be contending with incredibly short days (pitch-black at 5pm!), frightfully cold temperatures, or even some snow. But regardless of your current geographical status, it’s likely that you’re beginning to encounter a bit of that holiday stress that Thanksgiving seems to kick off so well.
Stress gets a lot of press, and it is something we talk about with a lot of familiarity. It’s simply a part of our modern life. What we don’t often talk about, however, is what really happens in the body when it’s Christmas Eve and you still can’t find the perfect gift that shows your mother-in-law exactly what she means to you (take that how you will).
Stress is an amazing adaptive response to the dangers of the world. When something stresses us out - when we are alarmed, overwhelmed, or dealing with a trauma - our body works to propel us to safety with a burst of energy in the form of adrenaline. This is great when the stressor is a hungry bear, less-so when it’s your niece’s birthday party (clowns are scary, but not THAT scary). Our stressors have changed in this modern-age, but our evolutionary response has not. Over time, this constant demand on our adrenals for more and more adrenaline can start to wear us down.
A by-product of this heightened stress response over a long period of time is a weakened immune system. Perfect timing, of course, as winter is often considered “cold season!” Toss a nasty cold on top of party-planning and gift-buying, and *BOOM* we’ve just created MORE STRESS. It adds up quickly!
This winter, take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your family and friends. Below are some quick and easy ways to bring down your stress level and get back to soaking in that winter joy.
Create a Ritual
I’m not suggesting you plan out each hour of each day, however having a consistent bed- and wake-time is a great place to start! Ritual is comforting to the mind and body, and some predictability can be a good thing when it comes to our health.
I mean, this should probably be first on the list. Who doesn’t feel more stressed and strung-out when you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in a few days? Allowing our body time to rest and restore is so important in maintaining a healthy response to stress, as well as a strong immune system.
It’s cold and dark out. I get it. But the more you can get out and get moving, the more favors you’re doing for your health. Exercise, in addition to being incredibly important for our physical health, plays a big role in our mental health. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that help to mitigate stress. Even if you find snowshoeing to be nothing more than difficult walking in the cold (like me!), I promise you’ll feel better afterward!
Get Friendly with Adaptogens
Adaptogens are botanicals that help the body respond, or adapt, to stress. Consider a supplement with Ashwagandha, or (and you can make this a ritual!) enjoy a warm mug of Golden Milk (rich in turmeric and ginger) before bed to help you unwind.
Sometimes we can’t do it all on our own, and that’s okay. If you’re feeling stressed, run-down, and like you’re one handshake away from contracting the latest batch of the sniffles, let MegaFood help! Below are a list of products that can help you in the good fight of Winter Wellness. Click the links to learn more about each!
Vitamin C - The ole standby. Vitamin C has long been an immune-supportive favorite, and it gets even better when it’s delivered with oranges from Uncle Matt’s Organic!
Vitamin D3 - Getting adequate vitamin D3 is tricky even in the sunniest of locales. Toss short days, long nights, and cold temperatures, and the likelihood of getting enough throughout the winter months is slim. Vitamin D3 plays many roles in the body, including a healthy immune response.*
Probiotics - What don’t probiotics do? In addition to supporting healthy digestion, they also play a big role in our immune-function.* Talk about a holiday two-for!
Adrenal Support - The connection between stress and immune function is clear. FoodState Nutrients and adaptogenic botanicals join forces in Adrenal Strength to better help your body cope with the stress of, well, stress.*
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.