The December holidays are going to be different this year. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be stressful. A lot of people turn to CBD for support. But is it too late to start using CBD and get the most out of it?
The simple answer is no. It’s not too late.
In fact, now is the perfect time to begin routines that mitigate stress, and CBD is definitely an option worth considering.
Let’s take a look at how you can more successfully navigate 2020’s strange and stressful holiday season and some of the healthy habits you can use to get by.
2020: Holidays in Hell
Most of this article will focus on stress and CBD, or perhaps better said, CBD in routines that help the effects of stress. But first, let’s take a moment to address the elephant in the room.
Holiday stress is inevitable – even during uneventful years. December is always full of high expectations and work. Then there are all the awkward social functions, which can feel more like minefields than parties. And seriously, do you really want to talk to your chain-smoking aunt about this year’s election?
Personally, I’d rather eat a tree – lights and all.
But with the current health crisis, 2020 is another animal entirely. Sure, you might avoid the office party due to local restrictions. So you won’t have to listen as Ralph from accounting goes on and on about the deck he’s building.
No one cares, Ralph.
But you’ll probably worry about, and miss loved ones – especially the older folks in your family. What about that volunteer work you do each year? It simultaneously does some good in the world while feeding your own soul. Is it even possible to do that in this alternate Hell of a timeline?
I blame the Large Hadron Collider.
My point is this: We may not deal with the same stresses this year. In fact, those old holiday irritations may seem like a comforting thought compared to the unfamiliar challenges we face this year. And if there’s anything that induces dread, fear, and loathing, it’s change.
So it’s important to recognize that coping with stress during these strange times is a top priority for us all. But what about stress and CBD? Can it help you stay cool amongst the flames?
Stress and CBD: The Basics
We’ll talk about adding CBD for stress to your relaxation and health routines in a moment.
For now, let’s dig into what stress and CBD really are as individual concepts and dispel some myths about both.
What is Stress?
It seems simple. You feel stressed out when you’re overwhelmed or dealing with difficult situations. Right?
Stress is a natural and sometimes healthy reaction to certain situations. It’s part of your fight-or-flight response, causing a feeling of emotional and physical tension. It comes in handy when you encounter things that can cause you harm – like when you happen upon a dangerous animal during your hike or when you’re driving in heavy, fast-moving traffic. Stress helps you act more quickly and decisively compared to times when you’re relaxed.
But we live in a world full of stressors or situations that cause you to feel stress, even when it’s not a life-and-death matter. It happens at work, in social situations, when dealing with financial matters, and when your kids draw all over the living room walls with a Sharpie.
So the problem with stress is that it rarely seems to end. Add the stress of the holidays to the equation, and you have a problem.
What is CBD?
For the purposes of this article, I want to focus on what CBD is in the context of using it for health purposes.
First, the CBD oil for sale in stores and online are not drugs. You can’t really expect to use them situationally like you would an over-the-counter medication.
For instance, let’s say you have a headache. You can take a couple of aspirin, and after a time, the headache might go away.
But you can’t say, “I feel stress, and CBD will help if I take it now.” It doesn’t really work that way.
Instead, most experts view CBD oils as a health supplement, like a daily vitamin, fish oils, or similar. You’ll see better results when you use supplements like this every day as part of your routine to maintain optimal health.
That said, stress and CBD is a popular topic. And many people who use daily servings of CBD alongside other methods of stress reduction often report feeling their best, mentally and physically.
In other words, remember that CBD is the perfect complement to a multi-tooled approach to beating holiday stress.
CBD for Stress in Practice
Like most things in life, managing stress is worth doing right. And that might mean you need to make major lifestyle changes. And while some things are easier said than done, it might begin with reducing the amount of stress in your life by changing your workplace or living situation. It could also mean removing yourself from an unhealthy relationship.
Other lifestyle changes can include adopting an exercise routine and a smarter diet, setting and reinforcing boundaries (such as work-life balance), or breaking bad habits that interfere with your ability to relax.
But what about stress and CBD? What about the holiday season and all the madness that entails?
In short, we’re posting this article in early December for a reason. Start your CBD regimen now. Don’t wait until you feel overwhelmed by so-called “holiday cheer.” It’s a trap!
While taking CBD daily is certainly a healthy choice, you’ll see better results for stress management when you combine CBD with other relaxation techniques.
CBD in Morning Routines
Starting the day off right with a smart routine can help stave off the effects of stress, and CBD in various forms can enhance your morning.
First of all, don’t just roll out of bed, pour energy drinks down your gullet, and start working. If local restrictions have you working from home, it’s tempting. Believe me, I know. But do you really want to read an email from your crummy boss or start putting out fires as soon as you wake up?
You’ll feel better if you get good sleep and give yourself some time in the morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast, shower, and any other morning business. And when it’s time for coffee, did you know you can add CBD to your morning brew?
If you want some other suggestions on how you can add CBD to your morning goings-on, check out this article.
CBD and Exercise
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, and CBD is an excellent companion. Did you know that working out can increase serotonin levels in the brain? Add to that, tons of athletes swear by CBD for muscle recovery from strenuous training sessions.
There are a lot of CBD options you can combine with your training sessions. You can add CBD to homemade protein bars, add it to your favorite smoothie recipe, or use specially blended topicals to reduce the pain of common muscle and joint aches temporarily.
CBD and Meditation
Meditation and other mindfulness practices can help relieve stress.
You can integrate CBD into your meditation by starting with a CBD gummy. Put one in your mouth, sit quietly, and really concentrate on the flavor and mouth-feel of the treat. Does it make your mouth water? Does it start out rough on your tongue but become smoother as it begins to melt in your mouth?
This is a basic mindfulness exercise that can help focus your mind away from the things that stress you. Once you’ve finished the gummy, you can move on and concentrate on your breathing while keeping your mind as clear as possible.
CBD in Your Nighttime Wind-Down
Modern technology, like smartphones and tablets, often causes us to adopt bad habits at bedtime. But you really should adopt a screen-free routine that can help you relax before bed. Most of us set aside time for hygiene in the evening. You can expand your hygiene time to include other activities to fight stress, and CBD with melatonin is an excellent addition to the routine.
Ideally, you’ll take your preferred CBD-melatonin supplement about 30 minutes before bed. Over the course of the next half hour, make sure you avoid distractions like televisions or mobile devices. If you have a romantic partner, lovemaking can add another layer of stress relief (and other health benefits) to your evening routine. Just brush your teeth first.
You can learn more about CBD, melatonin, and sleep here.
Holiday Stress and CBD: No Time Like the Present
Don’t wait until January to start addressing the stress in your life. Whether you choose to try CBD or not, now’s the time to get started. There are a million reasons the holidays can stress you out, so self-care is critical, especially in a year like 2020.
And if you want to give the gift of CBD to yourself or a loved one (even pets), check out our 2020 cbdMD Gift Guides!