‘Tis the season to be jolly! The season of Christmas movies, fairy lights and too much food. However, as merry as Christmas is, the silly season can sometimes get a little too… well, silly. Social commitments, overstretched budgets and overindulgence in food and alcohol can lead to or exacerbate existing stress and anxiety issues.
Being sensible is obviously not an option. So what can we do to make the holiday season as stress-free as possible?
Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your body and vice versa. When you’re stressed, your health is compromised, and when your health is compromised, it can lead to stress, a real Catch 22.
In periods of additional stress, your body needs support to keep functioning properly. The best remedy for stress is often lifestyle change, but this isn’t always possible, especially when there are Christmas parties to attend and cocktails to be had.
Mighty Mushroom Trend
A current rising trend in the health industry is the often-overlooked modest mushroom. The increasing popularity of the mighty mushroom is becoming known as ‘the fungal renaissance.’ Particular mushrooms are known adaptogens, which support the nervous, adremal, and endocrine systems. These systems get burnt out when we’re stressed.
Ayurvedic and Chinese Medical practitioners have been using adaptogens as medicine for centuries. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants and mushrooms that help the body resist stressors, whether they are chemical, physical or biological. Although these aren’t magic mushrooms per se, they are magic in that they ‘adapt’ to what your body needs at the current time.
For instance, cordyceps, reishi and lion’s mane are clinically proven to help manage stress. They’re also a great mood stabiliser, if you’re strung up high and dry, they’ll ground you, if you’re feeling sluggish, they’ll give you a bit of pep in your step.
And there’s an added bonus to keeping your stress as low as possible. You might just avoid the extra pounds that creep on around Christmas. Recent studies show that heightened cortisol levels (the stress hormone) can actually make you gain weight. This is because when we perceive a stressful event or when we are anxious, our adrenal glands secrete cortisol, in a phenomenon often referred to as the fight or flight response. Too much cortisol can lead to irritability, depression and weight gain. It also disrupts carbohydrate metabolism which leads to digestive issues.
If you’re feeling stressed and anxious as the year wraps up, adding adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs such as ashwaghanda and passionflower to your diet can make a real difference to how you feel.
At this time of year, we all need a little bit of extra support, so after you rewatch Die Hard for the fourteenth time, make yourself a magical mushroom brew or a cup of passionflower tea.
Wholelife Toowong stocks a wide range of medicinal mushrooms and supplements to keep you cool and calm this Christmas season.
Come in and have a chat with the team – we’re already playing Christmas carols! We also have a Christmas giveaways up to the 23rd of December!
Katie Robertson is a writer, editor, and avid health researcher, paving her own way to wellness. Katie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing and is the retail manager at WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods. When she’s not working, Katie lives in the world of fiction and you can often find her hiding in her herb garden with a good book.