How to Keep Your Chill This Holiday Season

How to Keep Your Chill This Holiday Season

Why stay chill?

When we constantly have something on our mind or plate, our body enters fight or flight mode. We become alert, ready to respond, and are prepared for whatever life throws our way. This can come in handy when, say, the person in charge of the turkey for the potluck bails at the last minute and you need to find a solution. When it doesn’t come in handy is when it’s time for bed and your mind is still racing.

Just like there’s a time and place for alert mode, there needs to be a time for chill out mode. Physiologically, this mode is called rest and digest. The rest and digest system is our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for recovering, optimal sleep, proper digestion, immune health, respiration, and more. Just from that quick list it’s easy to see how important it is to enter this state of rest and digest.

What’s not so easy to do, is actually slow down. Modern day society has us stimulated at every hour. Caffeine in the morning, phones and computer screens throughout the day, television and sugar cravings at night—it’s no wonder people are experiencing burnout at an unprecedented rate. This is why it’s important to find your own unique way of chilling out. What may work for your spouse or best friend, may not work for you.

4 Herbs to Help You Stay Chill 

We’ve compiled some of our favorite herbs to bliss out with. Give them each a try and find which ones feel good to you. Then, use them to create relaxation routines of your own!

Chamomile

Chamomile is simple and gentle, which is the secret to its success. Modern society isn’t exactly renowned for its gentleness and simplicity. That’s why chamomile is so widely applicable—everyone can use it without overdoing it. No one ever got into a bar fight because they drank too much chamomile tea!

Chamomile’s most common application is to ease gut tension, which improves digestion and assimilation after meals. The antispasmodic action can help when tension turns to pain as with excess gas, bloating, cramps, or colic, and it can even help with menstrual discomfort. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and cooling thanks to some of the hundred-plus constituents in chamomile flowers and their essential oils. This effect helps cool the GI tract after digestion and reset it for the next meal. Chamomile is a must for any overt inflammatory or acidic conditions. Its gentle relaxing action extends beyond the gut to the whole body, including the mind. Chamomile is effective at easing anxiety without making you feel overly dull, heavy, or lethargic. Its antimicrobial effects help ease aches and pains from colds and flu while helping bouts of illness resolve more quickly.

Chamomile can be consumed often and calibrated to suit our needs. Consider small amounts throughout the day to consistently siphon off excess stress that ultimately becomes accumulated tension. Consumed during the day, chamomile will ease tension while leaving you alert and available. Drinking chamomile at night will contribute to easeful, restful sleep, like giving your nervous system a teddy bear.

Lavender 

Lavender’s uplifting fragrance and dazzling color elevates the mind and soul, washing away negativity and bad vibes and replacing them with good ones. It’s useful for relieving tension in the musculature, including tension headaches. Lavender is highly anti-inflammatory and thus cooling to an overheated GI tract, as well as the agitated states of mind that come with frustration, anger, and impatience. Lavender simultaneously elevates depressive moods or calms anxious ones. It is beneficial to increase calm in the evenings and ease our way toward restful sleep—a nice one to have on the bedside table for a few deep palm inhalations at bedtime. Consuming lavender relaxes the enteric nerves and muscles of the GI tract. After a meal, its relaxing, antispasmodic action makes space for better digestion and assimilation.

Lemon Balm 

What makes lemon balm unique is the way it brightens the mind and mood, enhances cognitive function, and eases tension all at once. It eases anxiety and worry and also uplifts depressive gloominess. This plant checks all the boxes for this category of herbs—it promotes ease to then usher in a feeling of flow.
Lemon balm is an excellent choice for daytime use because of its bright, cheery disposition. It enhances your ability to work in the perfect way because it eases the sort of tension that might arise when doing a lot of mental work or feeling the pressure of deadlines. The result of using lemon balm is a sustainable state of ease and flow that can be a great ally on a daily basis. Diffusing the essential oil in the office when working or studying is a great way to take advantage of lemon balm’s cognitive-enhancing properties and mood-brightening effects. Taken in sufficient doses at night, lemon balm is an excellent calmative to usher in deep, restful, and restorative sleep. Because it’s in the mint family, lemon balm can be relied on to do all the same great things for digestion that have made mint plants famous—it relaxes the GI tract, settles digestion, improves assimilation, and relieves fullness and gas.
 

Passionflower

In traditional Chinese medicine, thinking too much and getting caught in a repetitive loop of inconsequential worrying heats up our brain. The thoughts get trapped in our heads and ricochet around. When you find yourself in this kind of thinking pattern, it’s time to reach for passionflower.
 
Passionflower is mild enough to be used during the day without causing drowsiness. Its gentleness also makes it a good choice for children. It’s great for daytime use, but it’s also suitable for helping us fall asleep if that worried mind carries on until bedtime. It isn’t a sledgehammer; it’s just a reliable, reassuring pal that pokes a hole in our overheating brain to give us some relief. 
 
All in all, passionflower excels at inducing feelings of tranquility and ease without dulling our thinking. It makes our days a bit more manageable when we’re under a lot of stress and worry.