What happens when the holidays, flu season and a rapidly spreading COVID variant collide? The short answer is stress, and lots of it. With Christmas only days away, how can you calm your nerves, boost your immunity and save your sense of the holiday spirit? A little bit of mindfulness and a daily dose of CBD may help push you in the right direction.
A 2015 study showed approximately 44 percent of Americans regard the holiday season as “somewhat stressful,” while an additional 18 percent answered, “very stressful.” Within the survey, only 10 percent of participants recalled being without stress. What were the greatest points of anxiety? Finances, a jam-packed schedule, gift-giving and health took the top four slots, respectively, although we suspect “health” experienced a massive boost in 2020 and 2021.
In addition to typical holiday stressors, December 1st brought the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the United States, and since then, COVID cases have steadily increased. While little is known about how Omicron compares to Delta, a different, more familiar illness is simultaneously gracing news headlines. Preliminary studies have regarded this year’s flu vaccine as a mismatch for the most dominant strain of the flu, meaning the 2021-22 flu season could bring a “twindemic” of illness. Already in the midst of nonstop worrying? Here’s our advice:
1. Sanitize… everything.
Germs do offer benefits in the way of immune-building, but your body can only fight so much. While hands are the most obvious points of infection, don’t forget about the sneaky, bacteria-centric items you keep in perpetual reach: Cellphones, handbags and reusable water bottles tend to be loaded with germs from the many public places you take them. Make consistent disinfection a habit, not an afterthought!
2. Cut down on inflammation.
Inflammation is at the root of all illness, and studies show COVID symptoms are worsened by proinflammatory markers. Holiday dinners and treats are wonderful, but too much saturated fat, sugar and processed food wreaks havoc on your health. Opt for a colorful, vegetable-dense dinner plate to keep illness at bay, and try a daily CBD supplement to double down on stubborn inflammation.
3. Devote less energy to gift-giving.
The perfect present doesn’t exist, and it surely doesn’t drain your wallet. A homemade batch of cookies, thoughtful card or nostalgic ornament are all likely to be remembered with fondness. Plus, your energy while giving a gift is equally important. The recipient will be able to feel the warmth and sincerity of a gift that didn’t leave you with post-checkout anxiety.
4. Accept what's out of your control.
Despite all of your best efforts, you may still wind up with an uncontrollable illness, unforeseen sadness or heightened stress. Accept that you cannot and should not attend every event, make every meal or sacrifice sleep to manufacture “more” hours. If you’re feeling like your days are spiraling out of control, consider taking one hour per day for yourself, even if that means pretending you have an appointment (R&R can be penciled in, too!). Unwind, meditate, practice gratefulness and if you’re still on edge, consider a CBD supplement to aid your mental state.
After all, calmness, goodness and joy are all necessary components of a joyous holiday season.