The holidays can be a joyful, blessed time, but they can also cause a lot of stress with financial worries, jam-packed schedules, uncomfortable family encounters, and travel delays. All of this added pressure can be taxing to both mental and physical wellbeing. The adrenals, hormones, digestion, and even mood and sense of well-being can suffer under the added layers of stress.
But that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you spend the next 2 months sipping on cosmos trying to numb out and forget.
Instead, here are three drink suggestions that are much healthier for you than alcohol and will not only warm you up, but help you better deal with the physical and emotional aspects of stress, and are low to no calorie. Win-win-win.
Drinks to Help Relieve Stress
1. Herbal Infusions
Nature’s healing plants, herbs, are incredibly valuable for simultaneously strengthening and calming the body. Herbs that are either adaptogens or nervines will serve you well during stressful times.
Adaptogens are non-harmful and support the body to restore balance. They help prevent the physiologic consequences of stress by improving bodily resilience and helping support the balance and healthy functioning of the adrenals.
Not all adaptogens taste great, so for an herbal tea look for the following options:
- Tulsi (holy basil)
- Jiaogulan (gynostemma),
- Goji berries
- Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng)
Whereas adaptogens encourage balance, boosting energy and mental performance as well as bringing relaxation and sleep, nervines are calming, anti-anxiety herbs. They help relieve headaches, boost mood, settle a racing mind, and promote sleep without being sedatives.
Many nervines make a beautiful cup of herbal tea:
- Lemon balm
Though many people think that tea acts the same way as coffee, to amp you up and create greater stress on the body, research has suggested otherwise. A 2007 study had participants drink black tea for 6 weeks before being exposed to stressful situations; the tea drinkers had lower cortisol and greater relaxation after the stressful event compared to control subjects. Some researchers suggest this is due to the amino acid L-Theanine, which is has been found to improve cognitive function, reduce anxiety, and moderate blood pressure spikes.
While this study was conducted using black tea, it’s plausible that most teas would have the same effect. There is a huge variety of options to suit your particular needs, including many caffeine-free teas such as rooibos from the South African plant.
You can also mix and match tea, adaptogens, and nervines, to suit your needs and tastes. Need some inspiration? Here are three recipes: 3 Antioxidant Rich Teas to Strengthen Your Immune System
You may have heard that magnesium is good for you and helps with stress relief and sleep, but you may not have realized it’s available as a drink.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for maintaining a healthy stress response and creating feelings of relaxation. It also helps prevent muscle cramps and spasms and facilitates sleep.
There are many ways you can get magnesium (food, supplement, topical), but one very easy and tasty way is by mixing 1-2 teaspoons powdered magnesium into hot or cold water.
During busy and stressful situations, we don’t have time or patience for long, complicated solutions. Yet, during the holidays we can often anticipate the added stress and overwhelm. So, to stay healthy and keep the effects of stress in check, plan ahead, and always keep some herbs, teas, or magnesium handy for an easy, nourishing, and relaxing drink.
Learn more about the wellness teas at WorldVitae.com.
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