Relieving stress during the holidays


The election is finally over, but many are having trouble coping with the result. Also, there are those who have trouble keeping their emotions from spilling over during the holidays. Sometimes it’s the death of a loved one, or memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas have never resembled the ideal of what they “should be.”

Dr. Terry Wahls, an alternative doctor that has had great success bringing herself and patients into remission from Multiple Sclerosis, gives us some common ways of coping with stress and keeping inflammation at bay during this bustling time of year:


A regular exercise program helps to generate a greater sense of well-being, accompanied by increased energy, improved sleep, and improved coping skills. A cardiovascular program, yoga, tai chi, or daily walking are all examples of the many types of exercise that may help you to de-stress your life. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be strenuous to be effective. Learn more about Primal Play™ by my friend Darryl Edwards, a movement coach in London who makes movement and exercise fun and accessible to all levels of fitness and ability.

Inflammation Fact: 1) Adipose tissue (fat) is pro-inflammatory; 2) Exercising muscle reduces inflammation improves insulin sensitivity


It is very difficult to calm the mind and the body during stress unless you have developed some helpful relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing, or prayer. Only 5 minutes daily are needed to start improving your reaction to stress. The important thing is to develop a program that works for you, perhaps every morning for 5 minutes before you shower. Breathing exercises can accompany meditation or be a stand-alone stress-reduction technique.

Life Issues

Improving time management by prioritizing and organizing your daily responsibilities will decrease the total stress load. Improving your communication skills in your important family or job-related relationships can improve the quality of your life by decreasing your total stress load.

Inflammation Fact: Emotional stress and toxic relationships promote inflammation, impair wound healing, and promote immunosuppresion

Healthy Diet

Many common foods and beverages do not support your body during periods of stress, whether small or large. Eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods enables you to deal with stress in a more positive way. It is most important to restrict intake of refined sugars and starches, caffeine, alcohol, and known allergic foods.

Dr. Wahls says she prepares most of her meals at home. “When my time is limited, especially around this time of the year, I keep a stash of paleo meals in my freezer to use in a pinch. When I do have time to cook I make extra large batches and freeze the extra to defrost later on.”

Inflammation Fact: Fatty acid imbalances or insufficiencies of Omega-3 and -6 fats, along with excesses of saturated fat and trans-fats lead to inflammation

Prolonged stress may lead to exhaustion of your adrenal glands, which play a critical role in helping you to deal with stress. Adrenal exhaustion becomes a vicious cycle that includes depression, fatigue, feelings of anxiety, and lowered resistance to illness. It is in your best interest to prevent adrenal exhaustion from occurring by developing healthy stress-management techniques.