Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D.

Ideas for Reducing Holiday Stress

Q. I am feeling guilty about not getting excited about the holidays like I use too. I am a parent of two wonderful young kids and have a loving significant other, but over the past couple of years I am just not feeling the joy around the winter holiday season like I use to. I am finding it more stressful and I feel worn out. Do you have any advice?

A. You are not alone. It is one of the most common complaints that I hear about this time of year. With the commercialization of the holiday season, one holiday has not even happened and the stores are advertising the next. This feeds into the “rush-rush-rush” feeling and having life live us, versus us living our lives. I have some routine advice that I give my patients that I will share with you, both from a philosophical point as well as supplement and diet ideas.

  1. Unplug whenever possible from social media and the news streams.

  2. Focus on the things that are important to you; your family and friends. And keep it SIMPLE. More is not better.

  3. The most precious thing we can give anyone is our time. Really thinking about this is vitally important. The time it took to write this heart felt communication to you, will be time that is never to be seen again. Likewise, the time you took to write this important question and to read my response is priceless. Thank you. It is the same thing when you make or eat a meal that a loved one shared.

  4. Don’t short yourself on sleep. And also remember, all that any of us can ever do on a given day is our best. Sleep is not always easy, so we often recommend to our patients Sleep Better™ to help take the edge off and allow the transition from busy days to become blissful sleep.

  5. Our regular diets often get sabotaged during the holiday season and we end up eating foods that may trigger digestive and immune challenges. So, when sitting down to a holiday meal or preparing it; be mindful that a splurge is seldom worth a tummy ache. Stomach Soother™ is something I personally always have on hand at family functions for myself or others. Plus, it has long be held that as the gut goes so does the mind. Thus, gastrointestinal distress often leads to a notable impact on our mood.

  6. Lastly, you must guard against the ravages of stress. Our minds are powerful and stress can create some pretty serious havoc in our lives and relationships. Stress Guard™ helps many of my patients “turn down the volume” of the chatter in our heads and lives. I always encourage people to conserve their energy reserves, particularly during the holidays. To pace themselves. And many patients report Stress Guard™ helps them feel more Zen in their daily lives.  

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The take home message:

After you have tried your best, that is all you can do! Too many people are way too self-critical of themselves. The moment you are feeling stressed, take a moment to become present in the moment and work to decompress from the pressure you are feeling. That may take the form of going for a walk in nature or doing something you enjoy that will nurture your inner being, and thus allow you to replenish your giving and nurturing reserves.

Create a few meaningful memories that don’t trigger stress. Memories are the most important gift and investment we can confer to anyone we care for. Remember, your time is the ultimate gift. Share with friends and family your goal for reducing stress holidays and I bet most of them will thank you for addressing the same feelings they are having too.

Peace and Abundant Blessings,

Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.

About Dr. Meletis, N.D.

Chris Meletis, N.D., has more than 25 years of experience practicing natural medicine. Based in Portland, Oregon, he shares his vast knowledge with fellow healthcare providers and his patients, and generously give to those in need. A lecturer and author, Dr. Meletis as written over a dozen books and hundreds of national articles. He was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was inducted into the National University of Natural Medicine Hall of Fame in 2018.

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