_Ancient cultures looked forward to Winter. The harvest was in, firewood was stacked up, the heavy lifting was over for the year. It was time to rest. People would gather to tell stories by the hearth. Outside, everything was still.
Perhaps that the feeling we’re trying to recapture as we begin our frenetic rounds of holiday events and visits. But it has the opposite effect: the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the most stressful time of year — for Americans, at least. Short of packing up and moving to Vanuatu (home of kava kava), what can we do?
Give yourself a break. If you find yourself booked up with events every night, it’s time to do some party pruning. Choose one or two you can live without. Stay home, go to bed early and dream about how much they’re missing you. If you’re hosting a soirée, do your guests a favor and set a reasonable ending time. (They’ll thank you when they wake up less groggy the next morning.)
Have supper before sundown. That’s a tough one, but if you remember that your digestive system works better if you allow at least 3 hours after eating before you go to bed, you can plan accordingly.
Go to bed by 10 pm. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (with a 3,000-year+ track record of good health practices), your Liver requires stillness to successfully process and remove all the toxins your body accumulates in the course of daily life. The liver’s most productive time for this is between 11 pm and 3 am. If you’re still a gadabout after midnight, you’re putting even greater stress on your liver than it already has to deal with.
Our lifestyles are a choice, but sometimes it’s hard to opt-out of culturally dictated behaviors. That’s when you look for help to relax and de-stress yourself. See a chiropractor, get a massage, talk to an herbalist about gentle, non-toxic sleep aids. I can recommend some excellent practitioners. And, of course, have a Reiki or Reflexology session to bring yourself back into balance. You’ll be ready to face the holidays and say, if not “Aum,” then, “Ahhh.”
Christin Whittington is a practitioner of energy medicine – helping people restore balance in their bodies, their health and their lives using a combination of Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qi Gong and herbal medicine.