The most important planning that needs to be done this time of year is YOUR OWN SELF-CARE. As folks prepare for the first of two major holidays, for your happiness as well as your guests and family members, take frequent deep breaths to get enough oxygen to your brain and body tissues. When stressed we tend to breathe very shallow and this can cause fleeting moments of feeling dizzy and spacey. Most people define stress in terms of psychological stress: emotional, being overworked and worried about events. Stress is actually defined as anything that upsets our normal state of well-being, including extreme physical exhaustion, trauma, and even minor or major infections. And yes, psychological stress can do physical harm.
Unrelieved stress results in a dramatic jump in the production of free-radicals (the bad guys) within virtually every area of the brain – cortex (sensory, motor functions, perception), striatum (planning and executing actions), and hippocampus (long and short-term memory and spatial location) are the major ones. Free-radical overproduction produces significant injury to these and other vital brain structures and depending on the free-radical levels in the body and the individual’s current state of health, unrelieved stress can even produce permanent damage to the brain.
But here is a little known fact. BRIEF periods of stress interspersed with periods of rest actually strengthens the brain. The bottom line is that during periods of intense stress we need to increase our rest periods and our antioxidant defenses but understand we don’t have to avoid all stress – just make sure we take time to recover from it in some way. Or maybe not view the stress as life-threatening but rather something that simply needs to be done. Don’t forget, you can always ask for help!
To avoid physical damage and to honor yourself, take many deep cleansing breathes during the day, get outside for a moment just to walk to the end of the driveway and back. You could take a relaxing bath, read, meditate or simply talk with someone you trust. Drink Water!!! Dehydration and higher toxins levels from stress increase free-radical production. Take vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to help control stress damage before it becomes permanent. Remember, the typical diet of today does not supply all the important vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need.
Here is a quick list of supplements to consider – some comprehensive vitamin supplements may contain all of these.
- Vitamins, Mineral, Flavonoids
- Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
- Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E)
- Carotenoids (Vitamin A)
- Vitamins D and K
- Plant Flavonoids
- Antioxidant Enzymes
- Superoxide Dismutase
- Glutathione Reductase
- Glutathione Peroxidase
- Thio Antioxidants
- Alpha-lipoic Acid
Enjoy the holiday season and remember the most important gift is giving yourself good health.