It’s officially holiday season, but nearly 25 percent of Americans aren’t looking forward to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to a poll from the American Psychological Association. Nearly 70 percent of people feel anxious over a “lack of time,” 69 percent are stressed by a “lack of money,” and 51 percent are worried over the “pressure to give or get gifts.”
Excess stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on individuals, leading to headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, short temper, nausea, depressive episodes, loss of appetite and more.
These potential stressors related to the holiday season can worsen mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD and more.
Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern, previously known as seasonal affective disorder, can also rear its ugly head during seasonal changes. The condition is a result of chemical modifications in the brain and body that happen due to less daylight hours, drastic temperature shifts and other factors.
While some turn to prescription drugs that can cause negative side effects to deal with these conditions, more people are turning to hemp-based CBD to relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
CBD has been shown to positively alter certain receptors in the brain, inducing a sense of calm and relaxation in some users.
While a CBD protocol can help with holiday stress, here are a few other ways to combat mental health conditions during the busiest time of the year:
- Don’t neglect exercise. Aerobic activity and stress-reducing workouts like yoga can help relieve depression and anxiety. Even though the temperatures may be low, try to step outside at least a few times a day. Fresh air and vitamin D from sunlight can boost your mood.
- Drink water. Dehydration, along with low sodium and electrolyte levels, can severely impact the brain’s ability to retain information and focus. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 120 pounds, that’s 60 ounces of water, or close to eight cups.
- Spend meaningful time with loved ones. Positive social interaction can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are surprisingly common during the holiday season, especially if you’ve recently lost a loved one.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Desserts high in sugar and empty carbohydrates can negatively impact your mood. Stick to an eating regimen that’s full of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains like quinoa and barley. It’s okay to indulge a little, but don’t go overboard on the cookies and desserts.
- Set a budget and keep it. Gifts are great, but they’re not the only thing that makes the holiday season special. The average American racks up at least $1,054 in debt at Christmas. Focus on giving affordable, meaningful gifts and quality time spent with important people in your life.