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From Dreary to Cheery

DrearyToCheeryJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The busy holiday season has officially begun with many of us looking forward to a time of good cheer and celebrations with family and friends. While we may have become accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the holidays as we plan, arrange and organize, surveys show that more than 60 percent of Americans report feeling challenged by the stress-inducing holiday preparations. Most might agree that the holidays would be much more enjoyable without all the pressure we put on ourselves to make everything perfect. Sometimes, less really is more. Eliminating some tasks and embracing the spirit might just be the path to celebrating the true magic of the season.

Taking steps to minimize undue stress by lowering exceedingly high expectations can help make the holidays more delightful and perhaps, even more meaningful. How we respond to the pressures the holidays bring influences the level of enjoyment or anxiousness. When we set unrealistic expectations, overwhelming stress-inducing demands on our time, energy and finances can negatively impact personal wellbeing. Setting holiday boundaries by making deliberate choices and prioritizing what’s most important can help ease holiday stress and allow for time better spent with family and friends to really enjoy what you love most about the holidays.

Focus and reassess. When the holidays are more dreary than cheery, it’s time to reassess. If holiday traditions are more work than fun, give yourself permission to lighten the expectations. To bring more enjoyment and meaning to the season, mindfully choose your priorities and concentrate your time and energy on meeting just those goals.

Create a budget. Racking up holiday debt is a major stressor. The average American overspent by $1,000 last year. Prioritize your resources by determining an amount you can comfortably spend on each person on your list. Though it may sometimes be tempting to exceed your budgeted amount, not overspending eliminates the negative impact of carrying debt into the new year, effectively resulting in reduced stress and peace of mind. Ultimately, it is truly the thought that counts.

Give and receive. In lieu of a gift, take a good friend or relative to lunch at their favorite restaurant or to an outing they would enjoy. Offer assistance to a person on your list that could use and appreciate your help. The holidays are really about creating memories of time spent with those near and dear to us. A gift may soon be forgotten, an act of kindness or shared experience will be remembered.

Establish priorities. When time, energy and resources are limited, concentrate on the tasks you really enjoy, and delegate or eliminate others. Pare down responsibilities as much as possible so tasks can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s okay to say no. You are not obligated to accept every invitation or request to volunteer. Attend when it works for you, help when you can, politely decline when overcommitting adds more  stress to an already stressful time. Fewer commitments means more energy to spend enjoying the events you really want to attend.

Set boundaries. While others’ expectations may increase pressure, awareness of your own priorities allows for better management of time and energy. Check in with yourself often to focus on what matters to you. Setting boundaries is a great strategy for preventing  overcommitment to allow for a less hectic, more joyful holiday season.

Breathe. Deep breathing is one of the most convenient, simple and best ways to quickly re-energize and de-stress. Find a quiet space and concentrate on deep breathing. Nothing else. Tuning out the world for five to ten minutes calms and relaxes the body, reduces tension and relieves stress.

Go for a walk. Even when time crunched, you can still prioritize some amount of stress-relieving exercise. A brisk walk anytime is mood elevating and energizing. Taking a walk after dinner with family or friends is an enjoyable way to view holiday lights and decorations, lower stress levels, support health and burn off some extra calories.

One more thing. Fortunately, while the holiday season may be chaotic, the whirlwind is short lived. While you may not think it possible to manage even one more obligation, focusing on personal wellbeing has positive effects on mental and physical stress. No matter what stage of life, perhaps it is possible to really enjoy the holidays by carving out time to spread tidings and good cheer to those all around you.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality formulations for stress relief:

Stress SuppressStress Suppress by Diamond Formulations: Fast becoming a customer favorite, Stress Suppress is formulated for relief of symptoms of daily physical and mental stress. Specific ingredients encourage normal adrenal function, help to balance stress hormones and support relaxation without drowsiness. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, kosher  formulation.

UnStressUn-Stress® by MegaFood®: This easy-to-digest vitamin, mineral and botanical nutritional supplement is formulated with FoodState Nutrients™ derived from 100% fresh and local foods in support of a healthy stress response, immune health and tension relief. Free of gluten, soy, dairy, herbicides and pesticides. NSF Certified, Non-GMO, kosher, vegan formulation.

Stress B-ComplexStress B-Complex by Thorne® Research: This complete B complex provides an optimal balance of essential B Vitamins along with extra vitamin B5 to support healthy adrenal and immune function. Gluten free formulation.


Holiday Stress and the Brain. https://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/holiday-stress-and-brain
The Impact of Holiday Stress on the Mind and Body. https://chopra.com/articles/the-impact-of-holiday-stress-on-the-mind-and-body
Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255
Holiday Stress: How to Cope. https://www.psycom.net/holiday-stress-how-to-cope

Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Featured Brand

Oregons Wild HarvestSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Established in 1994, Oregon’s Wild Harvest offers a line of Non-GMO, Certified Organic, scientifically validated herbal supplements. Focusing on the synergistic activity of whole plant ingredients, therapeutic herbs are harvested at peak potency, ensuring the maximum effectiveness of the naturally occurring compounds. Once harvested, herbs are immediately processed into extracts or carefully dried under optimum conditions. Meticulous USDA Certified Organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic® standards for processing ensure and verify that every product is 100% pure and naturally effective.

Utilizing regenerative agricultural practices Oregon’s Wild Harvest® strives to grow all raw materials on their expansive farm in Central Oregon. Medicinal plants that only grow and thrive in their native environment are responsibly soured worldwide from trusted organic suppliers and wild-crafters. Well-qualified botanists, scientists and chemists conduct in-house testing at every stage of processing to ensure the quality, purity, safety, identity and potency of all plant materials, as well as to confirm the absence of bacteria, yeast, mold, microbials, heavy metals, pesticides, unhealthy toxins and excessive moisture.

Extensively researched for therapeutic activity, Oregon’s Wild Harvest synergistic formulas are designed for maximum benefit. From plant to bottle, their hands on approach allows for complete control over every formula ensuring the presence of naturally balanced, bioavailable  active plant constituents. As part of their overall mission, Oregon’s Wild Harvest partners with academic institutions to scientifically research, expand and share technical knowledge of the medicinal properties of herbs.

To see the line of products from Oregon’s Wild Harvest, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Milk ThistleMilk Thistle: Traditionally utilized and clinically demonstrated to promote healthy liver function, Milk Thistle offers 1500 mg per serving of beneficial, organically grown, maximum potency milk thistle seed extract standardized to 80% silymarin. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy and corn allergens. No fillers or excipients. Non-GMO formulation.

AshwagandhaAshwagandha: An elite and powerful rejuvenating adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine to promote balance and provide nourishing and calming stress support. Extensively studied, ashwagandha has been shown to promote healthy levels of cortisol, as well as help regulate a healthy inflammatory processes in response to stress. Free of dairy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, soy and corn allergens. Certified organic, Non-GMO formulation.

True Cinnamon ...“True” Cinnamon (Ceylon): A customer favorite, each serving of “True” Cinnamon provides 900 mg of optimum potency, certified organic cinnamon bark in support of normal healthy digestion and antioxidant defense. No additional ingredients. Free of dairy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, soy and corn allergens. Non-GMO formulation.

TurmericTurmeric: This product supplies freshly milled, certified organic turmeric rhizome standardized to provide enhanced levels of active curcuminoids. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties provide protective nutritional support for cardiovascular, joint, liver and overall health. The addition of BioPerine® improves absorption and increases the bioavailability of the curcuminoid constituents. Free of dairy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, soy and corn allergens. Non-GMO formulation.

Mind Your Manna – Featured Brand

Mind your MannaSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now offers, Mind Your Manna, a line of holistic wellness tonics designed with functional and flavorful organic ingredients. In collaboration with expert herbalists, Mind Your Manna was founded in 2014 by holistic nutritionist Valerie Roth. The all natural healing remedies are formulated with fresh, nutrient dense, organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, adaptogens and spices steeped in raw organic apple cider vinegar, resulting in a concentrated blend of plant powered nutrients crafted to sustain and strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

Mind Your Manna sources high quality, whole food, organic ingredients known to provide powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and detoxifying compounds, as well as support for digestive, metabolic, joint, immune, eye, bone, brain, cellular and respiratory health. Produced in a small commercial kitchen located in greater Portland, Oregon, these nourishing tonics are designed to support, manage or improve overall wellness. Products are shelf stable for 18 months and may be refrigerated according to personal preference.

To view more Mind Your Manna tonics, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Fire Brew Vitality...Fire Brew Vitality Chai: Crafted to renew vitality with warming spices and classic chai tea ingredients, this tonic includes turmeric, ginger, garlic, horseradish, onion, citrus, habanero, rosemary, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, raw unfiltered honey and more in a base of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Naturally provides pre- and probiotics. All natural flavors and color. Paleo and keto friendly. Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Gluten free, raw formulation.

Fire Brew Immune...Fire Brew Immune Citrus: Formulated to boost the body’s defenses and increase resiliency, Citrus Brew combines immune boosting superfoods, such as tangerine, lemon, pineapple, astragalus and rosehips with raw unfiltered honey, turmeric, ginger, garlic, horseradish, onion, habanero, citrus, apple, rosemary and more in a base of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Naturally provides pre- and probiotics. All natural flavors and color. Paleo and keto friendly. Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Gluten free, raw formulation.

Fire Brew Fortify...Fire Brew Fortify Unsweetened: This no excuses, unsweetened tonic is fortified with a proprietary blend of turmeric, ginger, garlic, horseradish, onion, habanero peppers, citrus, apples, and rosemary in a base of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Fortify is a fiery, highly nutritious tonic that provides the essentials for natural healing and intensely flavored nourishment. Naturally provides pre- and probiotics. All natural flavors and color. Paleo and keto friendly. Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Gluten free, raw, vegan friendly formulation.

Fire Brew Energy...Fire Brew Energy Beet: This energizing powerhouse blends organic red beets, cinnamon and hawthorne berries with turmeric, ginger, garlic, horseradish, onion, habanero, citrus, apple, rosemary and raw unfiltered honey in a base of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Naturally provides essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, as well as pre- and probiotics for energizing daily support. All natural flavors and color. Paleo and keto friendly. Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Gluten free, low sugar raw formulation.