Beating Stress at Christmas

Q. As Christmas approaches I get more and more stressed. It’s always the same in the lead-up to Christmas, but this year my mother is poorly and I’m having to look after her as well. Are there any herbal remedies that can calm me down?

A. It’s not surprising that you feel under pressure, especially with the added worry of your mum. Stress takes its toll on your body and you should make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals important to the health and wellbeing of your nervous system, such as those provided in Quest Multi B Complex. To help calm the anxiety you are feeling right now, try Bach’s Flower Remedy. It is available in drops that you put on to your tongue, pastilles or a spray, and can be taken at any time. Aromatherapy is an excellent way to combat stress and if you can make time for a treatment you will feel relaxed and pampered. If you can’t, try blending your own aromatherapy oil (there’s lots of information on the Baldwins website on how to do this) and get your partner or a friend to massage your neck and shoulders. Not only will you be getting some ‘me’ time, but you’ll feel real benefit from giving yourself a chance to de-stress a little.

Q. My family only get together at Christmas time and it always ends in an argument. I can feel myself getting heated even thinking about it! What can I do to keep my cool?

A. Christmas is a time when we all expect to be happy and secure, and if our circumstances don’t match up to those expectations we can feel very disappointed. Many families today live independent lives so it’s perhaps less than realistic to expect everyone to ‘hit it off’ when they haven’t seen one another for such a long time. To help relieve stress, try Bach’s Flower Remedy – see the answer above. Lots of people use it to help them regain control and put them in a positive frame of mind. Baldwins sell a CD called ‘Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks’ that will teach you techniques to handle your stress and stay calm in situations that normally wind you up. Good luck!

Q. Like every mum, I find Christmas very stressful. All that shopping, cooking, planning, socialising…. But despite the fact that I’m rushing about all day long, when I get to bed I can’t go to sleep – no matter how tired I feel.

A. It’s often the case that the more tired we get, the less we seem to be able to sleep. Of course, this is a vicious circle because less sleep means we get more tired! To break the chain, try using a herbal remedy that will help you relax and drift off to a good night’s sleep. Valerian is well known for its sleep inducing properties. Take 300mg to 600mg of a concentrated root extract just before you go to bed; you should find that this helps you to unwind and sleep well.

If you suffer from stress or insomnia on an ongoing basis, or your symptoms make it hard to cope with everyday life, you should visit your doctor. Always read labels carefully and if you are taking other medication, consult your GP before self treating with herbal or other remedies. Baldwins staff are always happy to give you further advice and help you choose products. Contact them on 020 7703 5550.

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